Virologist Milanko Sekler said there was a strong possibility that the emergence of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus would effectively mean the end of the pandemic.
Sekler added that the fear over the contagiousness of the Omicron strain was excessive.
“The flight cancellations, in my opinion, were wrong. You don’t need to protect yourself against a virus that is more transmissible, but less pathogenic. At the same time, you have a virus in your country that is much more pathogenic. It was hasty,” Sekler said.
The new strains are becoming more similar to each other and the protection overlaps, he said, adding that the hospitalisation rate of patients with the Delta strain was 5% and with Omicron about 1%.
“The first strain that came from Wuhan is very different from Omicron. Those who were infected in March/April 2020 have a great chance of being infected again. Those who have been infected with Delta have a 30-40% chance of becoming infected with Omicron as well. Those who have had the South African strain have a probability of about 50%, while those who had the Apha strain have a probability of 60%. Those who made it through the first virus, the Wuhan virus, have a 75% chance of being re-infected,“ he concluded.
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