Washington, December 29: Terming Omicron variant as nothing more than a "seasonal cold virus", a US-based cardiologist has warned against "overreaction and over-reach" by government agencies, saying their actions are causing panic and providing misinformation.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Afshine Emrani, Medical Director at Los Angeles Heart Specialists, suggested that the countries should not test for Omicron, and instead, focus their resources on providing "psychological and financial assistance" to people. Also Read | Pakistan: University in Punjab Province Bans Fitted Jeans, Imposes Strict Dress Code for Students.
Afshine Emrani's Tweet
I'm getting requests to do TV, newspaper and radio interviews. I won't. But, for those interested, here are my basic thoughts:
1- Omicron is nothing more than a seasonal cold virus. Now we have 5 coronaviruses that will be around.
— Afshine Emrani MD FACC (@afshineemrani) December 28, 2021
Emrani, who has over 26 thousand followers on Twitter and have been posting updates on pandemic since the emergence of the virus, claimed that Omicron is "literally" the vaccine that vaccine companies could not make. He added that within "8-12 weeks the world will be vaccinated" due to the spread of the virus. Also Read | Vladimir Putin’s Concerns Over Lack of Security on Afghanistan’s Borders Draw Taliban’s Reaction.
His remarks come as the world is witnessing a rapid spread of the Omicron variant, especially in Europe and the United States.
"There is little we can do to stop this virus from infecting 80 per cent + of the population. Masks. Vaccine card mandates will make no difference. Sure, people who are vaccinated have a much lower chance of dying or getting hospitalized," he said in one of his tweets.
"The biggest threat in my opinion remains in over-reaction and over-reach by government agencies, causing panic, providing misinformation, leading to closures that hurt those most vulnerable among us," he opined.
He went on to claim that the United States will report two million positive cases a day for weeks, after which the "numbers will drop dramatically". "Just like South Africa. And Europe. Having millions positive in America, but asking travelers to quarantine in another country before coming back is silly," he further said.
Making a case against the restrictions imposed in the wake of Omicron, Emrani said: "Our government's reaction will be more harmful than the virus itself."
The World Health Organisation, in its weekly epidemiological update, said overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains "very high". However, UN health agency added that early data from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Denmark suggests there is a reduced risk of hospitalization for the Omicron compared to the Delta variant.
"Consistent evidence shows that the Omicron has a growth advantage over the Delta with a doubling time of 2-3 days and rapid increases in the incidence of cases is seen in a number of countries, including those where the variant has become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant," it added.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa last month. South African health authorities, but also health experts from other countries, have said the Omicron variant is much more transmissible but produces mild cases.
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