The coronavirus pandemic has been crippling the world for more than 2 years now, taking multiple variant shapes like Alpha, Beta, Delta, Omicron. It is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease, with its source in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then it has spread around the world like wildfire. We are still not aware of the exact circumstances to covid’s origin, how it got transmitted to humans. It has been more than a year since China stopped reporting covid updates and considered itself successful in controlling the pandemic with strategic action and reported normal life.
However China now is under fire as the Omicron variant broke out in the last one week. It has an active case of covid 14,850 as on 17th of March. China declared a lockdown again and around 30 million people are affected across China and forced to stay at home with limited access to travel only in emergency or for only buying essentials, 13 cities across the nation are under full lockdown and others are under partial lockdown. Omicron gave the worst hit to China and it was compelled to adopt the ‘Zero-Covid’ strategy. It is aligned to all controlling precautions yet a great challenge to buckle down a new sub variant ‘stealth’ omicron as it is difficult to detect it.
How has life changed during the covid-19?
- World hit by a corona storm, wiping out many businesses like Retail, finance and insurance, construction, restaurant, hospitality, tourism, they are not fully developed for WFH and their business got affected due to people staying indoors.
- Large to small IT industries have extensively adopted WFH policy and moved to work from home
- Most of the companies developed virtual platforms to assist their customers and resolve their issue remotely.
- Digital learning got massive impetus as people moved to edutech companies for learning and upgrading skills.
- The Health sector is booming in the covid-19 period.
What are the immediate actions China is taking?
- China has declared complete lockdown in 13 cities and semi lockdown in some of other cities according to the situation.
- “Zero-Covid” policy implemented to curb the spike of covid. It imposed strict quarantines and travel restrictions both domestic and international.
- A 6000 bed hospital is under construction and expected to be ready within 6 days.
- It is on the verge of closing all primary, middle and high schools and suspending non-essential businesses.
- Approved the use of self-administered antigen testing kits.
- Launched massive virus testing to cover millions of residents.
- It will begin three rounds of citywide nucleic acid testing during the period to understand in depth of the pandemic and find appropriate measurements.
Is that warning bell to the world?
Omicron worsened the situation in China and it is under huge pressure to control it, when other countries are witnessing a decline in coronavirus infections and are easing restrictions. India is set to resume international flights from March 27 after a 2 years gap, some countries like Switzerland, Dubai, Singapore, Morocco and many have opened the door for tourism. Many companies are calling back their employees to the office.
South Korea is also on top for the same situation as it reported 4,00,000 new daily cases on 16th March, 2022. The ‘stealth’ sub-variant of Omicron uproaring some parts of the world and is considered to be extremely dangerous, which needs urgent attention from all countries. It is a warning bell to some countries, sending a messages to the world to be alert and roll up your sleeves to face a new variant. Though many nations are successfully vaccinated yet it is an alarming situation and WHO warned that “The more Omicron spreads, the more it transmits and the more it replicates, the more likely it is to throw out a new variant” .
World has adopted a new slogan ” live life with viruses” yet we need to be cautious about what is happening around us and tackle the situation in an intelligent way.