JAKARTADAILY.ID - Even as the Omicron variant rages in other parts of the world, much of Asia has continued to hold the virus at bay, but the area that houses the majority of the world's population might have to brace for what may be an unavoidable rise, CT Insider reported on Wednesday (December 29, 2021).
Strict immigration quarantine restrictions and universal mask use have slowed the spread of the extremely dangerous strain in Asia. After lifting immigration and quarantine restrictions in the autumn, countries like Japan, South Korea, and Thailand have quickly reinstated the rules in recent weeks.
In India, where approximately 1.4 billion people live, more than 700 cases have been reported. For Christmas and New Year's Eve, New Delhi prohibits large gatherings. Curfews and vaccination mandates at stores and restaurants have been declared in a number of other states.
While in Japan, to slow the spread of the new strain, they are reimposing entrance limits, requiring mandatory COVID-19 tests for all arrivals, and isolating all passengers on a flight if someone tests positive for omicron.
However, the barrier was breached last week when the first domestically transmitted cases were verified in Osaka and Kyoto, two neighboring towns. A surge of illnesses spurred the government to speed up testing, prepare extra hospital beds, and speed up booster doses.
To prevent a dangerous delta-driven rise in South Korea, the government also reinstated its strictest distancing laws this month, limiting private meetings to four people and imposing a 9 p.m. curfew on restaurants. However, health experts predicted that with how fast the transmission rate is, it's only a matter of time before Omicron reaches South Korea.