Letter from the Editor: January 16, 2023

Since COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in China, the country is facing a huge surge in cases, giving rise to overcrowded hospitals, extreme pressure on hospital staff, a shortage of medicines and multiple deaths.

The spike in COVID-19 cases in China is attributed to the BF.7 Omicron sub-variant, which is very infectious and has the ability to re-infect people who have already had the disease as well as those who are vaccinated.

This rapid spread of COVID-19 coupled with harsh winter weather in China has raised concerns of the infection spreading globally, especially due to the highly transmittable nature of the variant. After cases of the BF.7 sub-variant were discovered in Gujarat and Odisha in India and Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, USA and the UK, government authorities worldwide have been discussing plans to tackle a potential new wave.

According to experts, the symptoms of COVID-19 caused by the new variant include a runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat, an altered sense of smell, headache, fatigue and body pain. As this variant has a shorter incubation period and is highly infectious, health experts have recommended that individuals take all the necessary measures to prevent its spread.

Doctors recommend that people:

  • Wash their hands and practise COVID hygiene
  • Wear a mask in places where there are many people
  • Build immunity by eating whole foods
  • Stay hydrated
  • Get booster shots if eligible

People with low immunity, including the elderly, children and people who are not vaccinated, are advised to be cautious. As the government takes steps to combat the disease, it is the responsibility of every citizen to abide by protocols. Every individual needs to be responsible and rely on themselves to keep safe.


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