Public told: Avoid crowded places amid Omicron threat

Published November 29, 2021, 1:28 PM

by Gabriela Baron

An infectious disease expert prodded the public to avoid crowded places amid the threat of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant Omicron.


In a Facebook post, Dr. Edsel Salvana reiterated that maintaining minimum public health standards and COVID-19 vaccines are still everyone’s best defense against the virus.

“With all the attention on Omicron, it is hard to feel optimistic at this time with so much unknown. But not all is doom and gloom. We will see in the next couple of weeks just how bad (or not) Omicron is,” Salvana wrote.

“In the meantime, we prepare — strengthen our borders, wear our masks, vaccinate as many people as we can. All of these will still work, and efficacy isn’t expected to go all the way down to zero,” he added.

Salvana also recommended wearing of face shield “if it makes you feel more secure.”

“Layers work. Break out that face shield if it makes you feel more secure, and avoid crowded places. Best to be safe than sorry,” the expert said.

“Omicron, IS scary. But if we are prepared, we will be ok. Here’s hoping it will fizzle out, just like Theta/P.3 and Lambda. Quota na, COVID (We’ve reached out quota, COVID). We are due for a break! Kaya natin ito, Pilipinas (We can do this, Philippines). Keep the faith.”

The Philippines on Friday started suspending flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy until Dec. 15, where the Omicron variant has been detected.

The variant, first discovered in South Africa, has since been detected in Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong.