The fight against the pandemic must continue unabated

The Covid-19 rollercoaster appears to have inched over its peak with an upward trend in daily cases. As the Omicron variant of the pandemic coronavirus begins to batter the country, it would be wise to continue with restriction, at least for some time. 

Given the uncertainties and easily transmissible nature of the new variant, a surge of virus cases in the country may spell doom for a small nation like ours. It was witnessed in the schools in Gelephu and Sarpang, and with the outbreak of the new variant, the death toll has now reached five.

Globally, the omicron variant is spreading rapidly. Countries have restricted the control of the mutation of this virus. Experts have claimed that the variant has shown that it can re-infect people who have already caught and survived earlier versions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as people who have been vaccinated against it.  

The variant is innately contagious and transmissible and has the capacity to evade human immune systems. Transmissibility reflects the virus’s ability to replicate in human cells and move from person to person according to scientific research. 

The Prime Minister said that though Omicron claims fewer lives in comparison, death is still inevitable, especially among the vulnerable groups like elderly citizens and children. The Prime Minister said that coming out of the pandemic must be cautious and gradual with innovative designs by experts and that the country must move with extreme caution as the risks associated are varied and real.

A key step in gauging the virus spread in Bhutan is to continue with lockdown until our sample collections guarantee us and our communities are safe from the clutches of the pandemic. 

It is observed that with lockdown people have struggled to afford basic commodities and services while our health services are continuing to be impacted. The board exam for Class X and XII are delayed and business entities and offices have to remain closed. Yet, we got to bear it as we cannot falter at the last moment. 

There are fears among the people that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the country could worsen impacting all spheres if we lack in our measures. 

While we have to learn to live with the virus we also need a long-term perspective. It is a common problem that we must solve together. It is not only the government and our healthcare officials but a common call for all. Together, we must act and plan so that the impact is lessened.

Given the fear that cases may rise again if people begin to mix more, it would be wise to hold off on easing any of the restrictions that remained in place. Omicron means we should stay prepared for some more peaks and troughs ahead.

The nation calls for the collective prayer and effort of everyone for it is only our collective labor that will get us through this pandemic, safe and unscathed.