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Newsletter No. 37 – Everything you need to know about the Omicron variant and the new Minsalud guidelines

Covid-19 behavior UISALUD affiliates
Covid-19 behavior UISALUD affiliates

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is monopolizing all the media worldwide, and not for less, according to data recorded by the World Health Organization (WHO), this variant has a contagious capacity, five to ten times faster than Delta.

Thus, in order to counteract contagion, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection issued new isolation and testing guidelines and urged the community to continue to comply with all biosecurity and self-care measures and, above all, to complete the vaccination and booster program.

“According to the Ministry’s report, in Colombia 70% of infections in recent days are associated with Omicron, a fairly high circulation of this new variant. As a reference, we can see what is happening with this variant in other continents, and Colombia is no stranger to this trend, hence the insistence on applying the booster dose. Moreover, among our users, we have also seen a considerable increase in infections; in the last week, the tests performed reached a positivity of 42.6% (See infographic),” said Gonzalo Gómez Patiño, director of UISALUD.

New guidelines

Isolation in the case of symptomatic people (nasal discharge, fever, headache, general malaise, among others) that may be related to a picture of COVID-19, especially with Omicron; in most cases, it is a clinical picture very similar to the respiratory picture. From the first symptoms onward, should be kept in continuous isolation for seven days, no longer than 10 or 14 days.

In case of these symptoms, it is no longer necessary to perform a test, since the symptomatology is conclusive evidence of the possibility of the presence of an infection by the Omicron variant, and therefore, the diagnosis can be made with clinical criteria with an epidemiological link.

On the other hand, in the case of symptomatic people with comorbidities, people over 60 years of age or children under three years of age, they should consult their EPS or their referral IPS for the respective follow-up, according to the medical criteria and, if necessary, perform the necessary tests, in order to carry out the strict follow-up of the person, given their higher risk of complications.

In the case of asymptomatic persons identified as close contacts of suspected and confirmed cases, they are not required to undergo preventive isolation as long as they remain symptom-free and are fully vaccinated, though they should, of course, take basic biosecurity measures such as wearing face masks and avoiding visiting more vulnerable people.

On the contrary, if these people who were in close contact do not have a complete vaccination schedule or have not been vaccinated, they should immediately remain in preventive isolation for seven days, to avoid being a source of infection for other people.

“We reiterate the call to complete the vaccination schedule. We invite our users and the community in general, who have not yet completed it, especially those over 50 years of age, to apply the booster immediately. Together we can prevent and control infections, ” said Gómez Patiño.

He reiterated that, although UISALUD has reached a percentage of 80% in the vaccination of the groups that to date meet the guidelines of the Ministerio de Salud, “we urge users who are currently completing six months of having completed the initial scheme, to ensure the application of the booster”.

To this end, UISALUD has scheduled a series of vaccination days, prior scheduling. One of them will take place next Thursday, January 13 at the unit’s facilities. It applies to second and booster doses. It is important to remember that the biologics to be applied on this day will be Moderna and AstraZeneca.

UISALUD users! in case of doubts or request for scheduling for the vaccination day, please write to us at or call us at 318 6274166 and 318 3400292.

What you should know about Omicron… Luis Salud answers.

Is it more contagious?

Yes, according to worldwide studies, the Omicron variant is more contagious, so there is a higher probability that a positive case will spread faster to another person. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain biosecurity and self-care measures: correct use of masks, being in ventilated spaces, avoiding crowds, handwashing, etc.

Is it less severe?

Yes, the evidence suggests that it is less severe than other variants, but this does not mean that the risk does not exist. Unvaccinated people are at a greater risk of becoming severely ill. Given its high contagiousness, there will be a large volume of cases in a short time. However, there will be a higher proportion of mild cases compared to other variants that have circulated.

Do vaccines work?

Of course, they do! Reality and evidence indicate that vaccinated people, although they can get infected, have a lower risk of suffering severe disease or dying from the virus.

#ElDato: Did you know that you can access vaccinations in any city or municipality in the country, regardless of whether you do not live there or are just passing through?