Several European countries have just announced that they will officially abandon anti-pandemic measures and restrictions and start treating Covid-19 as “a simple flu”, the electronic newspaper the nationalpost.com reported.
Spain, UK, Ireland and South Africa now treat Covid-19 as an ‘endemic’ disease like HIV, TB or flu
“Science has given us the answer to protect ourselves,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a recent radio interview. “We need to assess the evolution of COVID from a pandemic to an endemic disease.”
+ Learning to live with the virus +
The UK, Switzerland, Portugal and Ireland have all announced similar policies, in South Africa, which discovered the Omicron variant, health officials are now predicting that Covid-19 has essentially run its course, according to the newspaper.
“I think we have reached a turning point in this pandemic. What we need to do is learn to live with the virus and return to as normal a society as possible,” prominent South African allergist Shabir Madhi told NPR last week.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Canada saw its first glimmers of a “flu-ization” policy when British Columbia announced it was suspending contact tracing and urging most people with symptoms to simply stay home until they feel better.
“We can’t eliminate all risk, and I think that’s something we have to understand and accept,” said provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, adding that the province will now address Covid-19 “a lot more like how we deal with the flu.”
+ Covid-19 can be treated more like seasonal flu +
Epidemiologists have recognized that the end of Covid-19 would be an “endemic” disease, a disease like tuberculosis, HIV or the flu that never really goes away, but whose spread can be slowed and managed, according to the same source.
“Once Omicron crosses a country, the rest of the year should see far fewer cases, so Covid-19 can be treated more like the seasonal flu,” philanthropist and billionaire Bill Gates wrote on 11 January during an online question-and-answer session.
Of note, all of the countries that adopted “flu-ization” strategies did so in direct reaction to facing Omicron surges that proved far less destructive than previous Covid waves. -19.
“We have weathered the Omicron storm,” Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin said in a televised address on Friday announcing the end of almost all of Ireland’s pandemic restrictions.
“I have stood here and spoken to you during very dark days. But today is a good day,” he said.
In conclusion, Covid-19 is not safer than the flu, but it could be if you are vaccinated.