Srinagar, Jan 12: With the detection of five cases of Omicron in Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday advised people to take precautions to protect themselves from the new variant of Covid-19.
“Simple precautions would help prevent the spread of the variant,” said DAK President and Influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement.
Dr Hassan said people should continue wearing masks as they are effective at reducing the risk of contracting or spreading Covid-19 including Omicron.
“Masks act as barriers, trapping and filtering out virus particles from the air we breathe,” he said.
“If the infected person wears a mask, it reduces the risk of infection to those around them. If the uninfected person wears a mask, it reduces the risk of infection from the infected person,” he added.
The DAK President said people are advised to avoid crowding and gatherings.
“Crowding puts you at higher risk of getting Omicron and it increases the chances for the virus to spread in the community,” he said.
“If you are down with respiratory symptoms, self isolate and get tested,” said Dr Nisar. “If your test turns positive, report to the health authorities for tracing your contacts,” he said adding contact tracing is an important tool to prevent the virus from spreading in the community.
General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said the vaccine remains the single best tool against Covid-19 and its variants including Omicron.
“Fully vaccinated people have significant protection against Omicron infection, serious illness and death,” he said.
“Those who are unvaccinated should go and get it now. People who are eligible for boosters should take them as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families, loved ones and the community,” he added.
Spokesperson DAK Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga said Omicron is more contagious than delta which devastated us in the second wave. We don’t know how Omicron will impact our senior citizens and immunocompromised.
“Even though Omicron causes less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm our hospitals,” he said adding that healthcare capacity including ICUs, ventilators and staff need to be strengthened at all levels.