Chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wu Zunyou, said in his evaluation of the Omicron variant, that according to mathematical models, Omicron is more contagious than Delta, but public health measures such as masks, social distance and hygiene are effective against all mutations.
Evaluating whether the vaccines are effective against Omicron, Wu Zunyou said that the vaccines are effective but their effects may decrease, and that the 3rd dose of vaccine and the high level of antibodies will be effective against mutated strains.
Wu stated that whether Omicron will surpass Delta and become the main strain worldwide depends not only on the biological characteristics of the virus, but also on social characteristics. Wu Zunyou added that effective measures could prevent Omicron from becoming the dominant species in the world.
Wu Zunyou also noted that by applying the "zero case" strategy in China, more than 47 million 840 thousand people were infected and 950 thousand people died in the country, based on the global average in incidence and death rates.
“The vaccination rate in South Africa is only 24 percent”
Zhong Nanshan, the most famous respiratory diseases specialist in China, stated that although mutations are found in the binding of the virus to the receptors in molecular genetic tests, it is still early to reach conclusions on how harmful the variant is, how fast it will spread, whether it aggravates the disease and whether it requires a new vaccine. it did.
Zhong Nanshan stated that the new variant should be watched carefully, but at this stage, no major measures will be taken in the main part of China. On the other hand, Chinese expert Zhang Wenhong, in his social media account, emphasized that the Omicron variant will not have a big impact on China, and that the fast response and dynamic zero-case strategy followed by China can cope with different variants.
Reminding that the new variant has surpassed other virus strains in South Africa, including Delta, in a short time due to the large number of mutations, and that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the variant as “alarming” (VOC), Zhang said that the vaccination rate in South Africa He noted that only 24 percent, the infection rate is about 4,9 percent, and that an immune barrier does not occur.
Zhang Wenhong pointed out that although the vaccination rate in England and Israel exceeded 80 percent, both countries suddenly tightened the measures they took for outsiders, and said that if Omicron exceeds the current immune barrier, it may be necessary to re-adjust all existing vaccine systems.
The Chinese expert warned that according to the mutation of the virus, new vaccines may be needed rapidly every year, as in the flu vaccine. According to the news in Reuters, Israel became the first country to close its borders as of November 27, due to Omicron.
Zhang Wenhong stated that after about two weeks of observation, it will be understood whether the virus variant that emerged in South Africa will pose a threat to the immunity of the vulnerable population.
Noting that hundreds of variants have emerged since the beginning of the epidemic, but only Delta survived among them, he noted that Beta and Gamma variants also have relatively strong immune-escaping properties, but they were wiped out by losing against Delta.
Mentioning the dynamic zero-case strategy that China has taken, Zhang Wenhong said that thanks to this strategy, scientific support infrastructure has been built in terms of effective vaccine and drug reserves, as well as the creation of public health and medical resources that can support the reopening of the world in the next stage.
Source: China International Radio