June 29, 2022


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Biden to Announce New Restrictions as US Experiences First Case of Omicron Variant

U.S. President Joe Biden is because of announce Thursday stricter coronavirus testing necessities for worldwide vacationers getting into the nation, an extension of masks necessities for individuals on planes, trains and buses, and a push to ship tens of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to different nations within the coming months.

Biden is utilizing an deal with on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being to put out his administration’s COVID-19 plans because the nation heads into the winter months with its first confirmed case of the newly detected omicron variant.

The White Home stated in an announcement forward of Biden’s remarks that vacationers will probably be anticipated to be required to get a unfavorable COVID-19 take a look at inside sooner or later of their departure for the USA, a change from the present three-day coverage. The rule will apply to each U.S. residents and international nationals.

The mandate for sporting masks on public transportation and in airports was attributable to expire on January 18, with an extension anticipated to enter March.

The White Home assertion stated the Biden administration is pledging to ship 200 million extra vaccine doses overseas throughout the subsequent 100 days.Within the U.S., there will probably be public training and outreach efforts to encourage individuals to get COVID-19 vaccine booster pictures in addition to household vaccination clinics.

One other a part of the administration’s plan is to make at-home testing kits free for these coated by personal medical health insurance plans.And for U.S. states which are experiencing a spike in infections, emergency response groups will probably be made accessible to assist strained hospitals.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s high infectious illness professional and Biden’s chief medical adviser, burdened the necessity for individuals to get vaccinated, together with booster pictures, as he spoke to reporters on the White Home on Wednesday concerning the omicron variant.

He stated there are 60 million individuals in the USA who’re eligible to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine however haven’t, and that there’s each cause to consider the rise in immune response offered by booster pictures will assist forestall extreme illness if somebody is contaminated by the omicron variant.

“I feel what’s occurring now’s one other instance of why it’s vital for individuals to get vaccinated who’ve not been vaccinated,” Fauci stated.

The primary confirmed U.S. case of somebody contaminated with the omicron variant of the coronavirus has been found within the Western state of California, U.S. well being officers stated Wednesday.

San Francisco health director Dr. Grant Colfax talks about the first confirmed case of the omicron variant as Mayor London Breed, right of podium, listens during a COVID-19 briefing outside City Hall in San Francisco, California, Dec. 1, 2021.
San Francisco well being director Dr. Grant Colfax talks concerning the first confirmed case of the omicron variant as Mayor London Breed, proper of podium, listens throughout a COVID-19 briefing exterior Metropolis Corridor in San Francisco, California, Dec. 1, 2021.

The individual returned to the U.S. from a visit to South Africa on November 22 and examined constructive on Monday, Fauci advised reporters.

Fauci stated the individual had delicate coronavirus signs, was self-quarantining and was bettering. The individual was totally vaccinated, he stated, however had but to get a booster shot.

The omicron case provides the U.S. to the rising checklist of at the least 24 nations the place the variant has been found.

The U.S. joins a rising checklist of countries which have imposed some type of journey restrictions or outright bans on international vacationers for the reason that omicron variant was first recognized November 24 by scientists in South Africa, in keeping with the World Well being Group.

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Japan is banning reentry of all international nationals with Japanese residency if they’re touring from South Africa or 9 different southern African nations starting Thursday.

South Korea would require all arrivals to the nation to quarantine for 10 days, and all vacationers coming into the nation will probably be examined for the omicron variant. These guidelines go into impact Friday for 2 weeks.

Medical workers check a COVID-19 patient at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Bagae Hospital in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Nov. 29, 2021
Medical employees verify a COVID-19 affected person on the intensive care unit (ICU) of Bagae Hospital in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Nov. 29, 2021

Together with the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Nigeria additionally reported their first instances of the omicron variant. The state-run Saudi Press Company reported Wednesday {that a} Saudi citizen examined constructive after touring from a rustic in north Africa, whereas Nigerian authorities say its first instances of omicron had been detected in samples collected again in October from two vacationers who had arrived from South Africa.

In the meantime, the World Well being Group is recommending that people who find themselves not totally vaccinated and who’ve underlying circumstances, akin to diabetes, that put them at elevated threat of turning into severely in poor health or dying in the event that they contract COVID-19 ought to postpone touring to areas with excessive charges of neighborhood transmission.

The WHO additionally declared that blanket journey bans imposed by nations won’t forestall the worldwide unfold of the brand new variant however will as an alternative “place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.”

Some data for this report got here from The Related Press and Reuters.