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Letters to the Editor: More research on Omicron needed

Most recently, a new variant of COVID-19, the Omicron, has spread to many countries around the world in the last few days since it was first identified in Africa.

Letters to the Editor

Sentinel Digital Desk

More research on Omicron needed

Most recently, a new variant of COVID-19, the Omicron, has spread to many countries around the world in the last few days since it was first identified in Africa. A new version of the Omicron was identified in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia. Many countries have closed their borders and re-imposed travel bans to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has described Omicron as an alarming variant of COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that this new variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than any other variant of infection. But, it is not yet known for sure whether the patient's condition becomes more serious. Last month, Anthony Fawcett -- a top infectious disease specialist in the United States -- told US President Joe Biden that it would take about two more weeks for transmissibility of Omicron to be clarified and for reliable information to be obtained. According to preliminary data from the World Health Organization (WHO), hospital admissions in South Africa are on the rise. It can take days or even weeks to understand the horrors of Omicron. The Omicron identity has created new fears around the world. These concerns include whether the vaccine is effective against Omicron. Due to such fears, different countries of the world are imposing new travel bans. The WHO says that it is working with experts to understand the potential effects of COVID-19 on other immunizations, including vaccines. The United Kingdom says that an emergency meeting of the G-7 health ministers was convened last month (November 29) to discuss the current situation. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health reports that 13 of the more than 600 passengers traveling from South Africa to Amsterdam in the Netherlands last month were infected with Omicron. They arrived in the Netherlands on two flights. Health Minister Hugo De Jonge said that COVID-19 had been identified in the bodies of 61 passengers on the two flights. The WHO has described Omicron as "worrying". It has already been identified in Australia, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Canada and South Africa. Many countries have imposed travel bans or various restrictions on South African countries to prevent the spread of Omicron. We the Indians should also be vigilant and cautious.

Yours sincerely

Heramba Nath,


Rights of 'Specially Abled'must be respected

It is often seen that the 'Specially Abled' person have to face problems at each stage of their life. The Supreme Court has expressed concern over the plight of these 'differently abled' persons. The Punjab High Court had also delivered a judgement that persons at the helm of affairs must deal with this matter of such 'Disabled persons, must have knowledge of their problems and also of the Disability acts passed by the Parliament. The recent directive of the Supreme Court to the Director General of Civil Aviation to ensure that the handicapped are not asked to remove their prosthetic limbs/calipers during security checks underline the need to recognise the rights of the 'Differently abled' persons.

I had brought to the notice of authorities the difficulties being faced by the 'Disabled persons' during traveling by air and also brought to their notice that the 'Disabled' persons are asked to enter the plane at the last when all passengers already board the plane. Whereas as per the instructions, the Disabled should be allowed to board an airplane first. And in this regard, I have sent a number of reminders to the Civil Aviation authority. But, I am pained at their insensitive attitude. They have no time to reply to the Grievances of the public. What is more, the airlines are supposed to ensure that a 'Disability Awareness Training' is conducted for the new recruits and ensure that periodic refresher courses are conducted for all staffers to reiterate the policies and the 'Standard Operating Procedures' on customer assistance needed for the different types of disabilities. The apex Court's recent ruling further said that lifting a person with disability during air travel or security check up is inhumane. It also held that it should not be done without the consent of the passenger concerned, The SC ruling should go a long way in sensitising the society on the issue of disability. We hail people like scientist (late) Stephen Hawking who was suffering from a neurological disease. Yet, he was an authority in cosmology and also a prominent mathematician. He also won the Noble Prize. It is now up to the passengers to ensure that the draft guidelines are enforced and the dignity of the 'Specially-abled' persons are respected.

Yash Pal Ralhan

Jalandar 144003

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