The Times: With the decline of the “Omicron” wave and the receding of the epidemic, the challenge is coexistence with Covid-19

The Times: With the decline of the “Omicron” wave and the receding of the epidemic, the challenge is coexistence with Covid-19

London – “Arab Jerusalem”:

The London newspaper “The Times” confirmed in its editorial today that with Britain recovering after the epidemic, and the wave of the Omicron mutant receding, the challenge is learning to live with Covid-19.

The newspaper pointed to good news also yesterday on the broader epidemic front, as the latest data showed that Omicron infection is declining in all regions of England, and the Welsh government, which imposed the harshest restrictions in anticipation of a rise in the number of hospital admissions, announced yesterday that it had ended its ban on social contact inside buildings and large crowds. in sporting events.

It now appears that there is little need for the government to renew most of the restrictions on Plan B in England when it expires on January 26. This means ending the directive to work from home if possible or to wear a muzzle in indoor public places.

And even economically, “The Times” reported that the data published by the Office for National Statistics yesterday also showed that the country’s gross domestic product finally exceeded in November the pre-epidemic peak, as the gross domestic product rose by 0.9% in the month, which is double the rise that Economists expected it.

This is welcome news in the wake of the deepest recession of any leading economy and the largest number of deaths from Covid-19, and that it is further evidence that the worst of the epidemic is behind the country now, with less economic damage in the long term than feared.

The newspaper commented that for the first time since the Corona virus was identified two years ago and more than a year after the initial euphoria of starting the vaccine program, it seems likely that the epidemic, in Britain at least, is over. But this does not mean that COVID-19 as a public health threat has disappeared.

Although we should hope that as the virus continues to mutate, future mutants such as Omicron will prove to be milder, even if they are more transmissible. However, the challenge now must be to live with COVID-19 so that there is no need to go back to such strict restrictions again.

The paper believes that the first requirement should be to maintain vigilance even as the risk levels decline. Continued advances in medical treatment should facilitate treatment of future waves, including the imminent arrival of antiviral drugs that could reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization.

Habits acquired during the pandemic, such as a stricter approach to hygiene, must also be maintained. But the key to living with COVID-19 will still be the vaccine programme, which is why it is advisable to stick to policies designed to encourage vaccination.

The second requirement should be to learn lessons from the mistakes that occurred during the past two years. It has become clear that the contingency plans of previous governments were wholly inadequate, and the legacy of this failure is a huge backlog in health care, courts, and education that will take years to overcome.

The newspaper concluded that there is an urgent need for a serious strategy to address the outbreak of this virus and other deadly viruses in the future.

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