Bulgarian Experts: Omicron could Restart the Pandemic
Omicron is a new variant of the coronavirus that could restart the pandemic as it was in the beginning. This will happen if the risk is not managed and no action is taken. We need to manage risk and act as a community. The head of the laboratory for brain infections in Bern, Dr. Asparuh Iliev, the director of the Institute of Molecular Biology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Iva Ugrinova, and the pulmonologist Dr. Alexander Simidchiev united on the air of "Hello, Bulgaria". They advise people not to delay vaccination and to follow the measures.
"I am following the debate in the UK closely. Everyone's opinion is to wait and see if the Omicron variant will be more contagious than Delta. It is expected that the mutations we have in this virus - over 50, will most likely reduce the immune defense in vaccines or in case of post-illness. No one expects protection to be zero. There will be protection, especially for people with a booster dose. So far, the virus appears to be infectious. In South Africa, it is displacing the delta option. It is still not possible to say whether it is severe and to what extent it eliminates the effect of vaccines ", explained Dr. Iliev.
He is of the opinion that this variant will not be "dramatic", especially for the vaccinated. According to Prof. Ugrinova, it is too early to make predictions. She also believes that it is necessary to wait a few weeks for more data.
"So far we know that there are infected and that it is infecting at a faster rate than the Delta variant. That is all we can say with some certainty. There are questions about whether it is more deadly, we can't say," she said. She stressed that there is no room for panic, on the contrary - the approach must be reasonable and responsible.
Prof. Ugrinova also believes that the testing of all those entering the country should be introduced as a measure, because the virus also infected the vaccinated.
Prof. Simidchiev pointed out that, unlike the Delta variant, in which the reaction was delayed, now the countries where the Omicron variant was found have acted quickly and started sequencing samples.
"Hope is not a strategy. We cannot hope that it will be lighter. We can do what we have done so far, but we must do it systematically. If we make a mistake, it would be better from the point of view of safety ", stressed the pulmonologist and MP from" Democratic Bulgaria".
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