Vaccines remain greatest line of defence against coronavirus /Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar column

Hands Face Space - better to be safe than sorry

By Afrasiab Anwar
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 12:30 pm
Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar talks about the latest strain of coronavirus and how it could affect all our lives
Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar talks about the latest strain of coronavirus and how it could affect all our lives

Like Advent, coronavirus is once again upon us but, rather than peace on earth, this particular strain, in all it's unknown glory, brings the possibility of mayhem and confusion to the coming Christmas season.

We know Omicron, so named for the 15th letter of the Greek Alphabet, has the potential to spread rapidly but its potency is as yet, unknown. So, it makes sense to act with caution until the World Health Organisation and other research bodies can better identify whether it can evade our present precautions and the protection rendered by

the vigorous ongoing vaccination programme.

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One thing we can all agree on is better to be safe than sorry and to treat this curve ball with caution if we are not to find our festive season effectively cancelled.

That we will undoubtedly have to live with the virus; for some time is a given, but the inconvenience of navigating our way through what was, and still could be, a crisis should not be forgotten because the alternative is unthinkable.

Covid rules have been strengthened in response to concerns over Omicron with good reason and it is imperative that we try to prevent further disruption to our day-to-day activities by getting vaccinated and boosted if not for ourselves, for the community at large so this special time of year is not turned topsy turvy once again.

Vaccines remain our greatest line of defence against the virus so when invited be sure to book your booster. If you have not had your first or second jab, the time is now.

So, face coverings are compulsory in shops and on public transport, our secondary school pupils and staff are being 'strongly advised' to wear face coverings in communal areas. Both vaccination and booster programmes are being expanded to millions more adults and the gap between second dose and booster will be reduced from six to three months.

The Government will review the changes in a couple of week's time but with knowledge of this particular form of the virus still in its infancy it is up to everyone to recognise information and regulation may change on a daily basis and we should be ready to change accordingly.

We always knew the winter period would provide its challenges, the new variant is just a new dimension. The government wants to avoid another lockdown but if the NHS come under 'unsustainable pressure' additional measures will be needed and working from home will be the least of our worries.

So Hands Face Space and let's hope our festive season continues smoothly apace.