U.S. braces for Omicron, prepares for African country travel ban

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - U.S. health officials on Sunday said they were preparing for the likely appearance of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, with restrictions set to begin on Monday against travelers from eight southern African countries.

"Inevitably, it will be here," although no cases have been detected yet, the nation's top infectious disease official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told ABC News' "This Week."

He added that U.S. health officials would speak with their counterparts in South Africa later on Sunday, saying the flight curbs would give them more time to gather information and weigh possible action.

It "is to get us better prepared, to rev up on the vaccination, to be really ready for something that may not actually be a big deal, but we want to make sure that we're prepared for the worst," he separately told NBC News' "Meet the Press" program.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant, first discovered in South Africa Link and announced in recent days, has already been detected in a growing number of countries.

The United States must do "anything and everything" amid likely cases of the variant but it is "too early to say" whether new lockdowns or mandates are needed, Fauci added on ABC.

Potentially more contagious Link than previous variants, Omicron has sparked worries worldwide, rattling markets and public-health experts who have long warned about ongoing changes to the novel coronavirus amid the race to vaccinate against it.

"It clearly is giving indication that it has the capability of transmitting rapidly. That's the thing that's causing us now to be concerned," Fauci said on "Meet the Press."

Its appearance stateside could threaten to undermine the nation's recovery nearly two years after COVID-19's emergence and further pressure local healthcare systems that have already felt the weight of the recent Delta variant.

Rising cases as colder weather forces more people indoors amid ongoing vaccine hesitancy that has left many people in some U.S. regions unprotected has also forced some hospital systems and U.S. states, including New York, to declare emergencies.

So far, 781,797 people have died in the United States from COVID since early 2020, the most of any country in the world, amid 48,288,375 infections, Reuters data show.

U.S. President Joe Biden, due to arrive back in Washington later on Sunday following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, has said he is being briefed on the variant.

Meanwhile, the United States is joining other nations in seeking to block transmission by imposing travel restrictions.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET (0500 GMT) on Monday, it will bar entry of nearly all foreign nationals who have been in any of eight southern African countries within the last 14 days and has warned Americans against traveling to those nations.

Still, Delta Air Lines DAL.N and United Airlines UAL.O have said they are not planning any changes to their South Africa-U.S. routes despite the Biden administration's curbs. It was not immediately clear what additional steps travelers may face coming from the region as flights continued over the weekend.

Fauci and other top officials said the sudden burst of cases made Omicron worrisome, but it was not yet clear how current vaccines or therapeutics would be impacted. Vaccine makers Pfizer PFE.N /BioNTech 22UAy.DE and Moderna MRNA.O have said they expect more information soon.

"We need more data there before we can say confidently that this is not a severe version of the virus but we should find that out in the next couple weeks," outgoing National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins told "Fox News Sunday."

Fauci pressed Americans to continue get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters while experts evaluate Omicron.

"This is a clarion call...(to) get vaccinated," he told NBC.

EXPLAINER-How worried should we be about the Omicron variant? -
Reuters News

Reuters COVID-19 Tracker: United States Link

Additional reporting by Chris Gallagher, Joel Schectman and David Shephardson; Editing by Heather Timmons and Mark Porter

免責聲明: XM Group提供線上交易平台的登入和執行服務,允許個人查看和/或使用網站所提供的內容,但不進行任何更改或擴展其服務和訪問權限,並受以下條款與條例約束:(i)條款與條例;(ii)風險提示;(iii)完全免責聲明。網站內部所提供的所有資訊,僅限於一般資訊用途。請注意,我們所有的線上交易平台內容並不構成,也不被視為進入金融市場交易的邀約或邀請 。金融市場交易會對您的投資帶來重大風險。


本網站的所有XM和第三方所提供的内容,包括意見、新聞、研究、分析、價格其他資訊和第三方網站鏈接,皆爲‘按原狀’,並作爲一般市場評論所提供,而非投資建議。請理解和接受,所有被歸類為投資研究範圍的相關内容,並非爲了促進投資研究獨立性,而根據法律要求所編寫,而是被視爲符合營銷傳播相關法律與法規所編寫的内容。請確保您已詳讀並完全理解我們的非獨立投資研究提示和風險提示資訊,相關詳情請點擊 這裡查看。

我們運用 cookies 提供您最佳之網頁使用經驗。更改您的cookie 設定跟詳情。

風險提示: 您的資金存在風險。杠杆商品可能不適合所有客戶。 請詳細閱讀我們的風險聲明