Health Minister Jeyson Auza on Monday ruled out the closure of the state’s borders and urged the population to take extreme biosecurity measures to avoid risks against Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19.
“At this point in time, according to the World Health Organization, it is too early to make drastic decisions about closing borders because when a country reports that it has the omicron variant, it is getting far from the necessary supplies, it gets restrictions and that aggravated surveillance and this hinders the actions that need to be taken jointly, ”he stressed.
Auza said there have been no scientific studies or reports of serious cases or deaths from countries where the Omicron variant is present, noting that its mutation is currently being investigated.
“So far there have been no serious cases, not even a single death, in the countries where this variant of omicron was presented. Our hope is that this variant is milder and more transmissible, which could mean the end of the pandemic fear,” said he.
He explained that the Omicron variant has three basic elements: its transmissibility, its ability to bypass the defenses created by vaccination or natural immunity, and its virulence, but its level of lethality has not yet been established.
“When a virus enters our body, it starts to replicate and infect the rest of the cells, for that it has to be thousands of copies, hence the term viralization, genetic mutations and when these are significant, a variant is created,” explained he.
He recommended following the application of biosecurity measures and not self-medication.
“We recommend that the Bolivian population persistently fight the pandemic through containment measures such as wearing the chin strap, frequent hand washing, distancing and, above all, the one hundred percent available vaccination. of our country, ”he added.
According to the findings of scientific studies by the experienced epidemiologist Osvaldo Restrepo, the Omicron variant has 55 different mutations.
The authority found that the PCR test detects the Omicron variant of Covid-19. “The PCR test detects this new variant,” he said.
He clarified that nasal antigen tests were still effective, but mentioned that it was “too early” to determine the full effectiveness of diagnostic tests at Omicron.
He assured that the National Institute of Health Laboratories (Inlasa) was able to perform genome sequencing to diagnose and identify the new variant of the virus.
“Bolivia is able to diagnose and identify this new variant of Omicron, we are able to do the necessary genome sequencing,” he noted.