From Omicron to Pokémon  

By Ashley Ndliwayo

On the 26th of November 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) found a new, more easily transmissible variant and dubbed it Omicron. This variant has terrorized the globe from November, to date. 

The Omicron variant has exposed people to less severe disease than previous variants, though it has still led to some hospitalizations. However, hospitalizations account for a small percentage of the cases, in a broader sense, as the majority of people suffer mild symptoms. The numbers continue to fluctuate daily with less critical conditions and a stable number of deaths.  

Furthermore, Health officials from the health department have predicted a fifth wave to approach South Africa in a few months. Health minister Joe Phahla did say the number of COVID-19 infections are expected to be at a peak as soon as winter nears. The fifth wave too is expected to rock its own new variant with its own Greek symbol. Although the fifth wave has only been promulgated as a predication, the severity of the wave is unknown. It could be lighter or even worse. Like with any other wave, the implications of this prediction should not be taken lightly. 

Precautions and further safety measures should be taken. Especially for students who are ready to actively begin with 2022 academic activities. This is to say, vaccination centers within all campuses should be set up and operate smoothly and effectively. This is to ensure the encouragement of vaccination of returning students as well as prospective ones. Vaccination is effective and convenient to the care and safety of self and also those around us. 

Photo credit: WHO

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