Loop Caribbean – Health officials in the British Virgin Islands believe that the omicron variant of COVID-19 has taken over delta to become the dominant strain.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronald Georges said almost half of the samples sent for genomic sequencing over the last few weeks were identified as omicron.
“This is how omicron functions. It comes in and slowly out-competes all other variants to become the dominant variant. We are going to see quite an increase in cases. The doubling time for omicron is considered between two and three days. So omicron is much more efficient in spreading from person to person,” he stated last evening.
Georges noted that most of the over 1,000 active cases in the territory are experiencing mild COVID-19 which is characteristic of omicron.
The CMO noted that while omicron might be mild, it has the ability to overload a system.
The hospital is currently taking steps to increase capacity to deal with the surge, which is expected to last for almost two months.
Officials expect hospitals to need about 75 per cent of what was needed during the delta surge.
Parents of young children, who are unvaccinated, have been urged to pay close attention to them since omicron has led to a spike in pediatric admissions to hospitals.
Georges is therefore urging persons, who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, to take a shot of the vaccines available on the island.
Presently, just over 57 per cent of persons on the island are vaccinated.