Colombo, Feb 10 (DailyMirror) – Health experts on ground yesterday sounded alarm bells as the country was presently sweeping through an Omicron wave with nearly 20,000 people infected within the past 10 days alone.
While hospitalisations were still less compared to the Delta wave due to a majority of people being vaccinated, health experts urged people to receive their booster doses without further delay in order to minimise the symptoms if infected.
Sri Lanka is still showing a low percentage of those who have received the booster vaccines, with health officials now worrying that if the boosters are not administered soon, the doses will expire by July.
All those above the age of 20 and who have received both doses of the vaccines, irrespective of the vaccine type, are eligible to receive the Pfizer as the booster dose.
The rate of infections sweeping across the country has risen considerably within the past few weeks, and those who have received the booster are showing lesser symptoms than those who are yet to receive it.
However, irrespective of this, doctors have advised that if anyone suffers from the common cold, headache, fatigue, sneezing, sore throat, persistent cough, hoarse voice, chills or shivers, fever, dizziness, muscle pain, loss of smell or chest pain, they should get a PCR test done immediately and isolate at home till they receive the result.
If the symptoms are not severe, people can receive home care, but if the symptoms get worse they have been advised to get admitted to a nearby hospital.
Those who have received the booster dose and have come in contact with a COVID-19 patient do not require to isolate. However, they have been urged to watch out for symptoms and wear masks when leaving their homes. However, those who are yet to receive the booster dose and have come in contact with a positive patient, then they have to undergo a PCR test and isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days.
An exit PCR is also advised, doctors said.
Doctors further said that while in the Delta variant, patients complained of severe throat pain, in the Omicron variant, the most common symptom was a hoarse voice. Breathlessness was also another symptom, and many patients complained of having their lungs affected.
Following the recovery period, patients who have been infected have been advised to avoid strenuous work and gradually return to normal life. Fatigue and some other symptoms may last for a longer period of time.
“People tend to believe that they may be undergoing the simple flu if they develop the symptoms. However, if they experience any of the mentioned symptoms, then they must get themselves tested. Even a dengue antigen is advised. They should seek medical advice,” a senior doctor said.
Health officials have also advised people to not believe myths and misconceptions about the Pfizer vaccines.