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New COVID-19 Variant “Omicron” Appears in Africa; No Cases In US So Far

Photo: Anna Moneymaker / Getty

WASHINGTON DC, November 29, 2021 ~ Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified the new COVID-19 Omicron strain as a “variant of concern.”

The emergence of the highly mutated Omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution stated that, “This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs (variants of concern).

November 29, 2021 ~ Marie Osborne gives Kevin Dietz an update on the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

President Joe Biden gave an update on the virus variant on Monday, saying the variant will be fought with “scientific and knowledgeable action, not speed and chaos.”

Biden said lockdowns are not necessary “for now,” but further actions will be taken as necessary.

According to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “No cases of this variant have been identified in the US” so far.

CDC is continuously monitoring variants and the U.S. variant surveillance system has reliably detected new variants in this country. We expect Omicron to be identified quickly, if it emerges in the US.”

Israel is the first country to fully close its borders following the emergence of the Omicron variant. As of November 30, Japan’s borders are closed to non-citizens, including international students, and short-term residents (though those already in the country can stay).

An increasing list of more than 30 countries have imposed travel restrictions to and from certain African countries.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said it will take roughly two weeks to see if the Omicron variant is resistant to existing COVID-19 vaccines. If a new vaccine or booster shot is needed, it could take months to develop.

Monday, November 29, 2021 ~ President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci deliver comments and take question regarding the emergence of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.