With the Omicron variant of Covid-19 spreading like wildfire across the world, Pakistan needs to be extra vigilant. According to the National Command and Operation Centre, only 30 percent of Pakistan’s total population and 46 percent of its eligible population is fully vaccinated.
Pakistan’s first case of Omicron was confirmed on December 13 and the number of confirmed Omicron infections went up to 79 in just two weeks. Further, for the first time in a month, Pakistan detected 482 new Covid-19 cases. The new year is upon us and it is only a short time before numbers shoot up and hospitals fill up. While studies suggest that Omicron presents with milder symptoms than earlier variants even though it is far more transmissible, unvaccinated individuals are at higher risk of serious infection.
With over 70 % of Pakistan’s population unvaccinated we have a potential health and social catastrophe on our hands unless we act soon. National Institute of Health has warned that “Pakistan may experience the fifth wave of Covid-19 in mid-February 2022 with daily detection of around 3,000-4,000 cases per day as community transmission of Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus has started in the major cities of Pakistan, especially in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.”