Barbados Health Ministry cautions public against Omicron variant

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Bridgetown, Barbados: The Ministry of Health has issued a warning, asking the citizens to be more cautious as the new variant is now confirmed in 23 countries around the globe, as per the recent list released by the WHO. 

Given the available information from reputable public health agencies and being aware of ongoing research worldwide, the Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue to review its COVID-19 protocols and update where necessary, as it seeks to keep the population as safe as possible,” the health ministry further added. 

Although the island has yet not put travel restrictions on the South African countries, like the other Caribbean states. 

“The variant Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves; for example, on how easily it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, or the effectiveness of prior infection. Internationally, there are several studies underway to understand the significance of this new variant,” it added.  

This new variant is expected to have more than 30 mutations. 

Apart from this, the health ministry highlighted that every COVID-19 variant could lead to severe disease or death, particularly for the individuals who are most vulnerable, such as – the elderly, and those with serious health issues, including – heart or lung disease, diabetes, obesity or weakened immune system.  

The health ministry furthermore asserted, “Preventative behaviour is, therefore, always recommended. Individuals are urged to continue to be as cautious and careful as possible, using preventative measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and sanitising, and the correct wearing of masks. Consideration of the benefits of vaccination against COVID-19 is also strongly recommended”. 

It has further asked the general public to follow the COVID-19 health protocols and get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible so that the country can return back to normalcy.