Omicron detected in North America; Biden says ‘not a cause for panic’

Omicron detected in North America; Biden says 'not a cause for panic'
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Omicron, the new covid variant, was first detected in North America yesterday. Concerns grew all over America following this. People feared another lockdown in the United States. US president Joe Biden addressed everyone’s concern today, calling the omicron covid variant a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”

Among many other European countries, Australia and Japan have already introduced travel restrictions and are thinking about lockdownsThe new covid variant, Omicron, has been spreading rapidly across Europe and Africa. The western countries may soon experience another covid wave.

However, Biden told Americans he still hasn’t decided on lockdowns or extension of travel restrictions. Omicron cases have been detected in Canada. On Sunday, Canada announced that two Canadians who recently traveled to Nigeria had been infected with the new variant.. Late last week, the US announced travel restrictions on South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi. Canada, the UK, the EU, and other countries have also restricted travel from southern Africa. 

Why this decision?

Experts think Biden is waiting for the WHO to assess the new variant before introducing new measures fully. Biden also said that pharmaceutical companies were making contingency plans for recent jabs if they were needed.

There has been no recorded death from the variant yet. And it is still uncertain how contagious the new variant is. So Americans are also happy with Biden’s decision not to introduce another lockdown. In Florid, “we will not let them lock you down,” Mr. DeSantis said. “We will not let them take your job. We will not let them harm your businesses. We will not let them close your schools.”

Many governments, particularly in Europe, are already struggling with a recent surge in covid cases. And many governments are reintroducing mask mandates and lockdowns. Americans also fear that another outbreak could shut down their businesses and make many people jobless.

Following emergency talks, G7 health ministers said, “the global community is faced with the threat of a new, at a first evaluation, highly transmissible variant of COVID-19, which requires urgent action.” The WHO’s initial assessment of the new variant was “the risk factors of omicron are very high.” Though we still await a full report.

Still, Biden stressed that the United States was in an excellent position to control Omicron’s spread. “We have more tools today to fight the variant than we’ve ever had before,” he said, adding that his chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci expects current vaccines to work against the new variant, with boosters enhancing protection.

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Bony Adnan is a young high schooler very passionate about journalism. Bony loves to learn new things and share his ideas with the world. He was the editor of his school's newspaper for two years. Currently, he is an intern at PanAsiaBiz. You can read some of Bony's thoughts and ideas at https://bonyadnan.weebly.com/. He is reachable at bony@panasiabiz.com.