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People all over the world are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families from the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as well as to support their communities and stop the outbreak from spreading.

Unfortunately, while a lot of information about the virus and how to protect yourself is being shared, not all of it is accurate. During a health crisis, misinformation and a lack of information can spread paranoia, fear and stigma, leading to people not being protected or doing actions that can harm themselves and others.

Many people have been scared, isolated, lonely and stressed due to the Pandemic. We need to raise awareness, develop unity, support one another and be nice now more than ever.

It is critical to track the latest news on Covid-19 and other related topics.

Currently, we see terms like Omicron, Deltacron and Booster Shot in newspapers, news channels and social media platforms.

While many individuals are aware of the latest changes, many people are still oblivious.

Thus, everything you need to know about the Omicron, Deltacron and Booster Shot in India is right here:

What is Omicron, and where did it appear for the first time?

Omicron is a novel SARS-CoV-2 subtype initially reported in mid-November in South Africa. The B.1.1.529 variation, designated as a Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organization (WHO), is thought to have several alterations.

There are various reasons why a mutation is designated as a Variant of Concern. As per WHO, here is why Omicron is tagged as a Variant of Concern (VoC):

  • Increase in transmissibility in Covid-19 epidemiology.
  • Increase in virulence.
  • Reduction in the efficacy of public health and social interventions and accessible diagnostics, vaccinations and treatments.

How will you know if you have contracted the Omicron virus?

In the early days, Omicron symptoms include body aches, generalised weakness, fatigue, headache and fever. Later on, they may develop a dry cough and a cold with water from the nose, sneezing and other symptoms. The cough is usually dry and goes away within a few days. Fever usually goes away within the first three days in 75-80 per cent of patients, and if it doesn't, then it's an indication of a mild to severe infection that needs to be closely monitored.

Prevalent Omicron Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of Taste or Smell

Less Common Omicron Symptoms:

  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Aches
  • Pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rash on the Skin
  • Discolouration of Fingers or Toes
  • Irritated Eyes

Severe Omicron Symptoms:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Loss of Speech or Mobility
  • Confusion
  • Chest Pain

Related Article: Here's What You Need to Know About The Omicron Variant And How it Affects Travel Plans

What can I do to shield myself and my family from the Omicron variant?

The most important thing you can do is reduce your chances of getting infected. The following precautions to be taken to guarantee the safety of you and your loved ones:

  • Put on a mask with your lips and nose covered. Make sure your hands are clean when putting on and taking off your mask.
  • Maintain a physical distance from others.
  • Bypass areas that are crowded or inadequately ventilated.
  • By opening windows, you can improve indoor ventilation.
  • Hands should be cleaned regularly.
  • When it's your turn, get immunised. The World Health Organization has approved COVID-19 immunisations as both safe and effective.

Deltacron: Do you need to worry?

Last week, the discovery of the new Covid strain 'Deltacron' has sparked fears as the threat of Omicron looms big.

According to Leondios Kostrikis, the head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, a Covid-19 strain mixes Delta and Omicron was discovered in Cyprus.

Due to the discovery of Omicron-like genetic markers within the delta genomes, the discovery was given the term "Deltacron".

While no international authority has yet commented on the findings, on January 7, 2022, the research team transmitted their findings to GISAID, a global viral database.

The Deltacron strain arrives as Omicron continues to spread rapidly worldwide, resulting in an increase in Covid-19 cases.

The sharp hike in the number of cases reported daily, which appears to be the start of the 3rd Covid wave in the country, could indicate the presence of the highly transmissible Delta+Omicron (Deltacron) in the population. However, health officials have yet to confirm community transmission.

Related Article: 6 Useful Tips for Air Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Booster Dose in India:

In the middle of Omicron's grip on India and people' fears of Deltacron's growth, India has begun distributing Booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccination.

In November, the highly virulent Omicron strain was detected for the first time in South Africa.

Several countries have since increased their booster programmes or reduced the time between shots to ensure protection against the variation.

The Booster dose, branded a "Precautionary Dosage" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be the same vaccination given to a person for their first and second doses in India.

Why do you need a Booster Dose?

While immunisations are currently the best defence against the rapidly spreading third wave of COVID-19, their ability to protect our bodies diminishes over time. While vaccines continue to protect us from severe SARS-CoV-2 sickness, their efficacy declines faster in the elderly and those with co-morbidities. Furthermore, substantial evidence indicates the rising number of breakthrough infections among the vaccinated population from the new strain, Omicron. While the research is ongoing, it's always a good idea to get a booster shot to protect the vulnerable population from new strains.

Who is eligible for a Precautionary Booster Dose?

From January 10, the preventive COVID-19 vaccination (Booster Dosage) will be given to healthcare and frontline workers and older citizens (over 60 years of age with co-morbidities) who have finished the second dose.

However, there must be a 9-month or 39-week gap between the second and Precautionary Doses.

What is the procedure for registering for the Precautionary Dose?

All eligible applicants will receive reminder messages from CoWIN, and the dose will be included in the digital vaccination certificates. Candidates who have completed both vaccine doses can come into any vaccination centre or make an appointment online using the CoWIN portal.

Covishield or Covaxin?

The Precautionary Vaccine will be the same as the other two doses. Those who have gotten Covaxin will continue to receive Covaxin, and those who have had Covishield for the first two doses will continue to receive Covishield.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) analysed international data because the vaccine effectiveness of combination jabs is a hot topic. However, evidence from several nations has raised concerns about safety after some patients experienced high reactogenicity (anticipated adverse effects) after having a different booster dose than the first two doses.

Resuming Travel in 2022:

Borders were closed, airlines were grounded, and many businesses were forced to close for months due to the COVID-19. In 2022, however, the travel situation is projected to be different. Despite the ongoing Pandemic, the tourism forecast for 2022 is brighter than ever.

However, you should consider how the development of COVID-19 may affect your travel plans when you plan your trip, especially now that the coronavirus variation is spreading across the country.

Travelling during a pandemic necessitates a more thorough and cautious approach than usual, but it is possible to do so while limiting your risks.

If you are planning a trip with your family in 2022, then keep the following travel guidelines in mind:

  • One of the most crucial travel guidelines for safe vacations in 2022 is to wear masks. Face masks are recommended as personal protective equipment and as a public health intervention to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • The second most important travel tip is to get a double vaccine. Before setting off on a trip, make sure you are fully immunised.
  • Another essential travel tip is to keep yourself clean. COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases are spread by inhaling saliva or mucus droplets produced when people cough or sneeze. As a result, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands, as these are the most prevalent pathways for viral transmission.
  • Using social distancing strategies, you can protect yourself and your people. Avoid congested areas and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet (about two arm's length) from anyone who isn't a member of your travelling party.
  • Before making a reservation, look into the hotel or rental property's cleaning policies.
  • It is okay if you want or need to travel, but we recommend planning ahead of time to keep yourself and your family safe. One of the best travel tips is to get an RT-PCR test done 3-5 days following your vacation.

Stay cautious as Coronavirus variants sweep globally. Travel safe, follow guidelines, take precautions. Most importantly, look out for each other. We will come out stronger from this situation!

Related Article: Omicron COVID Variant: Latest State-wise Travel Guidelines And Quarantine Rules in India 2022

About Mahindra Holidays

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews and Club Mahindra Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As of Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at https://www.clubmahindra.com/

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