Isko Moreno, Gordon warn public as Omicron variant rises
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s health sector should prepare itself as the mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus could be harder to manage than the Delta variant, according to presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
“We should have sufficient hospital beds and medicines. We need to speed up vaccination, including opening booster shots for everyone who has passed six months after their second dose,” the Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer said on Monday.
The mayor’s running mate, Dr. Willie Ong, urged local governments to strictly enforce the wearing of face masks in public spaces in preparation for the Omicron variant.
“The new variant underwent 13 mutations, which means the virus has truly transformed. Since it mutated, there are now 20 plus cases in South Africa who were vaccinated but still got COVID,” he said.
What makes the new COVID-19 strain more dangerous, according to the 58-year-old Ong, was that even those who are already vaccinated could be infected by it.
Sen. Richard Gordon, for his part, on Monday called on the public to be on guard as the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus is “spreading like wildfire” around the world.
“This pandemic will now be traveling 500 times faster than the Delta variant. The transmissibility is quicker and it’s more effective than any other previous variant,” the chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee said.
“Let’s continue to wash our hands, keep our distance, get tested regularly and strive to be fully vaccinated,” he said in a statement.
Gordon urged the public to get inoculated as soon as possible as an added protection against the new variant.
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