Monday, 17 January, 2022
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EDITORIAL

Need To Get Vaccinated



As cases of coronavirus infections start to witness a rapid surge again, a matter of concern for everyone is how to stay safe in this situation. In addition to observing the health protocols, experts have said that getting vaccinated is one of the most important preventive measures to remain safe from the virus. Taking this into consideration, the government has announced 15-day school closure and relevant stakeholders have been urged to utilise this class break to inoculate the students against COVID-19. In this regard, the role of local levels can be vital to mobilise the health workers and volunteers. The nation has already received vaccines intended also for the younger population, who were left out in the earlier vaccination campaign. Now the focus should be to vaccinate all the eligible populace so that nobody is left with the chance of risks.

The government has received plenty of vaccines and we have no dearth of the shots in the stock. In this positive situation, we have to spring into action without delay to vaccinate the remaining population. For this, all apparatuses of the government need to be instructed with earnest notice to mobilise health workers and to notify the general public. We are lately in the grip of the omicron variant of the virus which can spread much faster than its earlier Delta variant. Border screening, on the spot antigen tests and isolation have to be put in place to prevent the virus spread going out of control. When cases multiply very rapidly, which are seeing daily, the tendency of hospitalisation naturally goes up. This will put pressure on the health facilities and medical manpower to deal with the cases. Critical situation like the shortage of beds, ventilators, critical care units, care givers, doctors and even oxygen may emerge. Here, preparation and planning are very important.

The emergence of the second wave has taught us important lessons which should be considered to prepare more efficiently this time around. Unvaccinated people are left vulnerable when infections are rising. Vaccinated people are immune to the virus and safe from fatal consequences though they may develop mild symptoms in case of infection. Cases in Nepal and all over the world have shown that unvaccinated people are prone to more critical symptoms and fatal results while the vaccinated ones stand stronger against the virus. The Omicron mutant of the coronavirus, which reported its first outbreak in South Africa, is spreading like wildfires. This variant is spreading in India and Nepal, too. Though the spread rate of this variant is much faster, critical illnesses and fatalities are very low compared to the Delta variant. This gives a sigh of relief but it should not be a cause for complacency. Who knows, some new variant might mutate from this and pose new risk.

Staying protected with vaccination, implementing control measures at the government level and abiding by safety protocol at the citizens’ level are the key strategy in the battle against the virus. The infection resurgence has come at a time when people had grown careless about health safety protocols like wearing face masks, using hand sanitiser and washing hands frequently. We can still see that people are going about their business almost in a normal way. Still worrisome is the fact that there are many people moving in public places without putting on masks. It is time to remind people that their careless approach regarding the observance of the safety rules may cost dearly when virus cases are rising rapidly of late.