Bill Gates recently took to Twitter to warn millions of followers to gear up for the “worst part of the pandemic” after cancelling his holiday plans with close friends who have tested positive for COVID-19.
In a series of tweets, Gates said that “Omicron is spreading faster than any virus in history [and] will soon be in every country in the world”.
“The big unknown is how sick omicron makes you. We need to take it seriously until we know more about it. Even if it’s only half as severe as delta, it will be the worst surge we have seen so far because it’s so infectious.”
He encouraged people to look out for each other, especially the most vulnerable, adding that even though it’s frustrating having to go into another holiday season with COVID-19 looming over us, “it won’t be like this forever”.
“If there’s good news here, it’s that omicron moves so quickly that once it becomes dominant in a country, the wave there should last less than 3 months. Those few months could be bad, but I still believe if we take the right steps, the pandemic can be over in 2022,” Gates adds.
Even though the world responded to South Africa’s detection of the Omicron variant by imposing travel bans, Gates responded positively to SA’s efforts last month.
South Africa did the right thing by reporting these cases. They have invested heavily in R&D including genomic sequencing capabilities which have made it possible to quickly identify variants, like Omicron, and help the world respond appropriately.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) November 29, 2021
Meanwhile, the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) announced on Thursday that it has approved a second dose or booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 18.
Picture: Twitter / @1DeepNote