BANDUNG, unpas.ac.id – Omicron variant resulting from Covid-19 mutation is now receiving serious attention from World Health Organization (WHO). It has also been classified as a variant of concern.
Although it is said that it does not cause symptoms as severe as the Delta variant, positive cases due to the Omicron variant show a fairly high number. In Indonesia, cases even jumped again after previously experiencing a decline.
In line with the increasing prevalence of the Omicron variant in the middle of the Limited Face-to-Face Learning (Pembelajaran Tatap Muka Terbatas, PTMT), Universitas Pasundan held a webinar entitled “Pemaparan Varian Covid-19, Tinjauan Epidemiologis dan Rekomendasi PTMT” on Thursday, 17 February 2022 at the Hall of Mandala Saba Ir. H. Djuanda and Zoom Meeting application.
Sequentially, the material was delivered by dr. Primal Sudjana, SpPD, K-PTI, FINASIM, MH.Kes, MMRS. PIA (internal medicine specialist, consultant of infectious tropical disease), dr. Sidik Utoro, MPH (former WHO consultant, West Java UNICEF Covid-19 consultant), and dr. Trias Nugrahadi, Sp.KN (K) (Vice Dean III FK Unpas, specialist in nuclear medicine).
Unpas Rector Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Eddy Jusuf Sp., M.Si., M.Kom., IPU stated that webinar collaborating with Faculty of Medicine aims to provide an understading regarding Omicron which increases massively and has potential to cause other problems in implementing PTMT.
“Unpas has certainly had its preparation since declaring that it will re-hold PTMT. All campuses and faculties within Unpas are urged to tighten awareness of health protocols and complete the barcode of Peduli Lindungi at the main entrance. It is for doing the screening for students who enter the campus,” he explained.
During the implementation of PTMT, conditions in each campus are still relatively conducive. For this reason, an early understanding of the Omicron variant as well as its mode of transmission is expected to prevent and control the spread on campus.
Less Dangerous than Delta, Carefulness Needed
- Primal said, Omicron infects the body by attacking the upper respiratory system like influenza. The symptoms are indeed milder than the Delta variant, but the peak of cases caused by Omicron shot up in just 1-2 days.
“Mild symptoms do not mean harmless. Omicron is a new variant, 21 percent of sufferers are young people who have never reported a history of illness, even though they have been vaccinated,” he said.
If infected with the Omicron variant, patients can do self-isolation at home provided they are less than 45 years old, have no comorbidities, and are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. In the house there should also be separate rooms and have more than one bathroom.
“In this era [Omicron], booster vaccination is very important. Dose 1 is to introduce the body to the virus, dose 2 increases the number and quality of antibodies. Over time, antibodies decrease, so a booster is needed,” he continued.
Meanwhile, epidemiologically, said dr. Sidik, efforts which can be taken to suppress Omicron virus include reducing the number of sufferers or flattening the case graph curve (slowing down the transmission rate).
“This is needed to make no more accumulation of cases; hospitals can still accommodate patients who need health services, and do not create an excessive burden on health workers,” he said.
PTMT Implementation in Omicron Era
During pandemic, learning process can be carried out limitedly by strictly applying health protocols. If it is not possible, it could be still carried out by doing online learning method. The staffs, teachers, students and elders must also certainly get vaccinated.
According to dr. Trias, there are at least five risk factors which probably occurred at the educational facilities, namely condition of physics (dust, heat, lighting), psychosocial (shift work and overtime, interpersonal relationships), ergonomics (posture, repetitive movements), biology (viruses, bacteria, parasites), and chemistry (chemical liquids and gases, laboratory waste).
“To ensure PTMT conductivity, each faculty should set a risk management, starting form identifying activity priority, activity risk, doing mitigation of activity risk, identifying responses of activity impacts, planning/designing and implementation, as well as communication and socialization,” he confirmed.
Regarding the precaution to the danger, the faculties are also required to pay attention on five aspects, namely elimination, substitution, technical control, administrative control and self-protection equipment.
“Stuffs like this seemingly eliminate dangers physically, danger substitution, isolate people from danger, change the way people work and protect employees with self-protection equipment,” he concluded. (Reta)*