Omicron ‘the beginning of the end of the pandemic’, but public has to remain careful – OCTA fellow
MANILA, Philippines — The Omicron variant of COVID-19 may be “the beginning of the end” of the pandemic, but the public must remain cautious, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, an OCTA Research fellow said at the GoNegosyo Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday.
Citing a study, Austriaco, a Filipino-American priest who is also a molecular biologist, said the Omicron variant is a “natural vaccine.”
According to him, those infected with the Omicron variant who survive will get antibodies that will protect them “not only against Omicron but against Delta, Gamma, Beta, Alpha and D614G” variants.
“So as the virus rapidly increases, it’s going to try to spread to everyone and it’s going to try to find as many of our kababayans vulnerable. It is spreading so rapidly, what you will expect is it will run out the food sooner,” Austriaco said.
“And when it runs out of food, it will begin to crash — which is why you see in South Africa, the numbers are crashing. In London, the numbers are beginning to fall only because, once it spreads like wildfire, and when all the trees are burned, there’s nowhere for it to go. So it begins to crash,” he added.
Due to this, Austriaco said the Omicron variant “is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”
“We have to realize that Omicron is the beginning of the end of the pandemic because Omicron is going to provide the kind of population immunity that should stabilize our societies and should allow us to reopen,” he said.
“This is the hope and the prayer. The Omicron is actually a blessing. It will be hard for one month, but afterwards, it should be a blessing because it should provide the population protection that we need everywhere,” he added.
Nonetheless, Austriaco still reminded the public to be cautious, particularly those still unvaccinated against COVID-19.
“It’s milder, but if you’re unvaccinated, it’s still harder for you,” he said.
The variant will continue to bring high COVID-19 cases, but the public “should not be scared of these numbers,” he went on.
“We should expect that most of these cases will be mild. We should expect fewer hospitalizations and deaths,” Austriaco said.
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