Government warns community as Omicron variant risk is very high

Government warns community as Omicron variant risk is very high

President for Council of Minister, Fidelis Magalhaes (Image Tatoli/Egas Cristovao)

DILI, 1 december 2021 (TATOLI) – Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães had warned the communities about the high risk of the new coronavirus Omicron variant.

“Omicron’s high risk of infections concerns many countries across the globe, including the World Health Organization (WHO),” Fidelis Magalhães made the comments in a press conference held at the Palace of the Government, in Dili, on wednesday.

He said Timor-Leste hadn’t got enough information about the new variant, adding, many countries had taken extra measures to respond to this new variant.

“I call on Timorese people to keep practicing the health and safety guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the WHO to continue combating the spread of the virus, particularly the Omicron variant,” he said.

Magalhaes said it is important for Timor-Leste to accompany the situation of the Omicron variant in the world.

“We will need to accompany those big countries (USA, China, Australia, etc) with advance and sophisticated laboratory to provide us with detailed information about this new variant. This information is vital for us to take extra measures to respond to this Omicron in Timor-Leste” Magalhães said.

He said although Omicron poses a high infection risk, the previous measures are still useful to prevent and combat this new variant, including social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands regularly.

“So far, we haven’t received new and special measures to respond to this new variant. And again we haven’t got enough information about Omicron,” he added.

The Omicron variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021.

The Omicron coronavirus variant had spread around the world on Sunday (28.11), with new cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia even as more countries imposed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off, Reuters reported.

“Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron,” it said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was not yet clear whether Omicron, first detected in Southern Africa, is more transmissible than other variants, or if it causes more severe disease.


Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario


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