“Very high” WHO says.
The White House urges the nation on Sunday to get their Covid-19 booster shots after the country senses threat from the new Omicron variant, which began spreading from North America.
On Sunday evening, U.S. President Joe Biden held an emergency meeting with Covid advisors following his Thanksgiving break to discuss the safety measures to prevent the new variant from spreading.
As per Dr. Anthony Fauci, it will be two weeks now until the omicron is completely understood. He believed that “existing vaccines are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases from the mutant super-strain”
The new variant cases have been found in Canada and among patients in Ottawa, who had been to Nigeria. However, Nigeria does not come under the U.S. travel ban country list – announced the officials on Friday and will come into effect from Monday.
The patients’ health condition is yet to be determined as further details have not been shared.
After Joe Biden’s return from Massachusetts, the president was asked whether he would consider additional restrictions on travel. To which he replied, “I’m having a meeting with my medical team as I get back to the White House. I’ll have more to say.”
Later on, a picture that the White House issued saw president Joe Biden in the Oval Office discussing the matters with his chief medical advisor, Fauci, Jeff Zients, Ron Klain, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, and two other officials.
“Following up on the regular briefings he had on COVID while traveling, the President met in person today with his Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and members of his White House COVID Response Team on the latest developments related to the Omicron variant”, the White House said.
“Dr. Fauci informed @POTUS that while it will take approximately two more weeks to have more definitive information on the transmissibility, severity, and other characteristics of the variant, existing vaccines are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases.”
‘Dr. Fauci also reiterated that boosters for fully vaccinated individuals provide the strongest available protection from COVID. The COVID Response Team’s immediate recommendation to all vaccinated adults is to get a booster shot as soon as possible.”
However, despite the unforeseen threats from the new variant, the government has not imposed new testing regulations for travel.
Passengers traveling to the United States must show their vaccination evidence before boarding, however they won’t be required to take a Covid-19 test after landing.
On Monday, WHO warned about the likelihood of international spread of the new Covid-19 variant, “omicron” and that it would end in severe consequences in some regions.
The organization has urged all of its 194 member countries to get high-priority groups vaccinated to “ensure mitigation plans are in place.”
“Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerned for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic,” WHO said. “The overall global risk related to the new variant … is assessed as very high.”