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Decisive early action key to suppressing Omicron variant

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Getty Images

Des Senior calls for the government to immediately introduce basic measures to contain the new Covid variant, while Duncan McCallum would like to see a more coordinated global response

With regard to tackling the Omicron variant (Omicron variant spreads to Europe as UK announces countermeasures, 26 November), closing our borders buys us a little time, nothing more. So what are we going to do with it? Dithering with the current laissez-faire, herd immunity, business-as-usual policies will swiftly turn into a disaster. The government needs to introduce stringent infection-suppression measures now, not wait until it is too late as usual.

As a bare minimum we need green passes for all potential mass spreader events, mandatory mask wearing in all enclosed public spaces, and mandatory vaccination for all health, care, education and public-facing workers.

The government should reintroduce working from home wherever possible, and we must ensure there is adequate ventilation and mask wearing in all schools and colleges.

None of these measures should significantly impede economic or everyday life. Doing nothing will surely have a much greater impact.
Des Senior

• Kit Yates’s article (The new variant is worrying – but it doesn’t change how we tackle Covid, 26 November) is good, but only highlights individual and domestic responsibilities. Where is the coordinated world response to the Omicron variant?

We’ve had almost two years of experience in dealing with this virus, and while the world has advanced in leaps and bounds scientifically, it seems it has stood still politically. Surely by this time, the world should have had a playbook for an event like this. It’s not as if we didn’t know that new variants were going to emerge. We set up the process to look for and identify them quickly – after that, nothing.

The global community can get together for a coordinated effort to tackle the climate crisis, but hasn’t seemed to have even considered the more immediate problem. Instead, we still have individual countries running about doing their own thing, if not totally then almost totally, like headless chickens.
Duncan McCallum
Houston, Renfrewshire

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