With only 22% of Pakistan’s population fully vaccinated, the country faces a renewed threat from the latest Covid-19 variant, Omicron. Covid19 has hit Pakistan’s economy hard in addition to worsening all social indicators.
Further, as experts note, the country “does not have competitive technology for genome sequencing and variant detection that other countries have, so as scientists work to determine how lethal Omicron is, the authorities must do everything they can to stop its spread.”
This means that testing and isolation practices which the Government of Pakistan had taken at the beginning of the pandemic may need to be reintroduced and messaging around indoor gatherings, too, should be clear.
As an editorial in Dawn pointed out, “the government’s messaging around coronavirus and the potential threat of Omicron must be reactivated. Mask-wearing must be encouraged, and testing, too, should be ramped up. The government must battle vaccine hesitancy and spread awareness that though there are fears about the Omicron variant infecting vaccinated people, it is still unclear to what extent the virus can resist protection.”