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General view of a Dubai duty free closed shop at Dubai International Airport, as Emirates airline resumed limited outbound passenger flights amid outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Dubai, UAE April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed JadallahDUBAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates will lift an entry and transit ban on on Saturday on travellers who had recently visited South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and eight other African countries. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) said late on Wednesday it was lifting the ban on those who had visited certain African countries in the previous 14 days, imposed due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterThose travelling from African countries will have to obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours prior to departure and a negative rapid-PCR test at the departure airport. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterWriting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kim CoghillOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Ahmed Jadallah DUBAI, Alexander Cornwell, Kim Coghill Organizations: Dubai International Airport, Emirates, REUTERS, United, Emergency Management Authority, Omicron,, Thomson Locations: Dubai, UAE, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda
Health workers at Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Jan. 19, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa. As well as an increasing body of evidence suggesting that omicron causes less serious disease than its predecessors, experts are cautiously optimistic that while the omicron wave is proving to be sharper than those associated with previous variants, it could also be shorter. Nonetheless, there has been a decline in hospital admissions in all provinces except the Western Cape, the statement added, noting that admissions had been generally lower with the omicron variant. "While the omicron variant is highly transmissible, there has been lower rates of hospitalisation than in previous waves. Real-world studies from South Africa and the U.K. suggest that people infected with omicron develop milder illness compared with the previously globally dominant delta variant.
Persons: Steve Biko, , Fareed Abdullah, Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, Ferguson, Lawrence Young, Danny Altmann Organizations: omicron, Pfizer, BioNTech, country's Department of Health, World Health Organization, International, South African Medical Research Council, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, Warwick University, CNBC Locations: Pretoria, South Africa, Botswana, U.S, Europe, Moderna, France, Africa, London, Eastern, ., Tshwane, South Africa's Gauteng
Image The United States set single-day records for new cases twice this week, the latest on Thursday, when it tallied 582,000 cases. The Delta variant wreaked havoc around the world, and now the Omicron variant, which has already become dominant in the United States, is fueling a spike in cases. For the United States, the coming weeks look difficult. Studies in animals suggest that Omicron does not invade the lungs as readily, which may help explain its generally lessened severity. Genome sequencing shows that Omicron has exponential growth because some of its dozens of mutations appear to speed up transmission.
Persons: Gabriela Bhaskar, We’ll, , Ali Mokdad, University of Washington epidemiologist, , Jeffrey Shaman, Shaman, Brian Garibaldi, Johns, Sarah Cahalan Organizations: United, New York Times, Omicron, University of Washington, Centers for Disease Control, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, Resource Locations: United States, Botswana, South Africa, New York City, U.S, Columbia, England
A Texas doctor and his team developed Corbevax, a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine. Email address By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider as well as other partner offers and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy PolicyA Texas pediatrician and a professor developed a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine that was approved for emergency use in India on Tuesday. Dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital, developed the Corbevax vaccine alongside Baylor College professor Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, a press release from the children's hospital said. The vaccine, which the developers called the "World's COVID-19 Vaccine," uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology, which would allow it to be mass-produced and used across the globe. The low-cost vaccine is meant to help low and middle-income countries, access vaccines, the press release said.
Persons: Dr, Peter Hotez, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Hotez, Bottazzi, Ken Shadlen, Insider's Sinéad Baker, Beto O'Rourke, O'Rourke Organizations: Service, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, Baylor, BE, Johns Hopkins University, Experts, London School of Economics, Political Locations: Texas, India, Hyderabad, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Botswana
A person performs a self-swab test for COVID-19 in the Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, Dec. 17, 2021. People infected with the heavily mutated omicron variant of Covid-19 may have increased immune protection against delta, a new study says. As a consequence, omicron could displace delta, according to the small study published by South African scientists this week. The study followed 13 people, 11 of whom had been infected with the omicron variant. In the United States, omicron represented 58% of sequenced Covid cases while delta represented 41% last week, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Persons: Khadija Khan, Johnson Organizations: Omicron, Delta, Africa Health Research Institute, Pfizer, omicron, U.S . Centers for Disease Control Locations: Brooklyn, New York, United States, Delta, South Africa, Botswana
Archbishop Desmond Tutu dies at 90
  + stars: | 2021-12-26 | by ( Todd Leopold | Larry Madowo | Jessie Yeung | )   time to read: +21 min
Photos: Desmond Tutu: A life in pictures Archbishop Desmond Tutu attends an event in Cape Town, South Africa, in April 2019. Hide Caption 7 of 42 Photos: Desmond Tutu: A life in pictures Tutu, center, leads clergymen through Johannesburg in April 1985. Hide Caption 15 of 42 Photos: Desmond Tutu: A life in pictures Tutu meets US President Bill Clinton in 1989. Hide Caption 22 of 42 Photos: Desmond Tutu: A life in pictures Tutu joyfully shouts "I am free! Hide Caption 34 of 42 Photos: Desmond Tutu: A life in pictures Tutu dances at the launch of his biography "Tutu: The Authorised Portrait" in 2011.
Persons: Desmond Tutu, Cyril Ramaphosa, Tutu's, Ramaphosa, Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Mo Ibrahim, Albert Lutuli, Mandela, Johanna Shenxane, Leah, Trevor, Theresa, Naomi, Mpho, Ronald Reagan, Reagan, Tom Bradley, Martin Luther King Jr, Coretta Scott King, King's, Christine, George H.W, Bush, Bill Clinton, Winnie Mandela, F.W, Klerk, Queen Elizabeth II, Dalai Lama, Thabo Mbeki, Elmo, Oprah Winfrey, Peter Gabriel sing, Biko, Steve Biko, Obama, Dean Michael Weeder, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, Archie, Britain's Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of, Frank Chikane, Chikane, Thabo Makgoba, Desmond Tutu's, Makgoba, he'd, Trevor Huddleston, Robert V, Taylor, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Bishop, Alex Boraine, de Klerk, De Klerk, Desmond Tutu Peace, Desmond, George W, Tony Blair, Jon Stewart's, Krista Tippett, chiding, she'd, I've, Nomalizo Leah Tutu Organizations: CNN, South, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, African National Congress, Pretoria Bantu Normal, Mary's, United Nations, of Churches, Office, Los Angeles, Regina Mundi Church, Atlanta, Anglican Church, Cape Town, Civic, City, Olympic, FIFA, Foundation Youth Centre, Cape Town Mayor, South Africa's rugby, Rugby, South African, Anglican Church of, Academy of, Black South, firebrand, ANC, White, Congress, Church, F.W, Commission, TRC, Desmond Tutu Peace Trust, Emory University, Episcopal Divinity School, Court Locations: South Africa, Mo, Cape Town , South Africa, Pretoria, Kagiso, Johannesburg, Lesotho, Oslo, Norway, Los Angeles, California, Regina, Soweto, Cape Town, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Tutu, South Africa's, Cape, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Duchess of Sussex, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, London, Klerksdorp, South Africa's Transvaal, Black, Sharpeville, Great Britain, White South Africa, Africa, United, Sun, Atlanta, Cambridge , Massachusetts, Israel, Iraq
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will lift the travel restrictions it had imposed on eight African nations to curb the spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19, according to a senior administration official. The travel restrictions on South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will end on Dec. 31 at 12:01 a.m. The administration also said that international travelers from the African countries would not have a significant impact on U.S. cases given how widespread omicron was throughout the world. The U.S. government had imposed the restrictions on Nov. 29 after the discovery of the new omicron variant in South Africa. President Joe Biden was criticized at the time by some health experts who viewed the foreign travel restrictions as ineffective.
Persons: WASHINGTON —, Biden, Joe Biden, Salim Abdool Karim, Jen Psaki Organizations: Centers for Disease Control, Biden Locations: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, U.S, White, United States
The Biden administration plans to lift travel restrictions from southern African countries on December 31. In late November, Biden set restrictions on travel from eight countries — South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, and Namibia — over fears of the Omicron coronavirus variant. The Omicron variant has since swept through the US, accounting for more than 73% of coronavirus cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The travel restrictions never affected US citizens or permanent residents, who only had to test negative for the virus before returning to the US. Since December 6, CDC policy required all international travelers must test negative within a day of departure regardless of their vaccination status.
Persons: Joe Biden, Biden, Kevin Munoz, Munoz Organizations: Biden, Service, White, Omicron, Centers for Disease Control, Prevention, Twitter Locations: South Africa, Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Namibia
President Biden will remove the ban on travel between the United States and countries in southern Africa at midnight on Dec. 31, a senior administration official said on Friday, reversing restrictions imposed last month to combat the spread of the Omicron variant. The region’s leaders had denounced the ban as unfair, discriminatory and unnecessary. Mr. Biden made the decision this week on the advice of his medical team based on findings that existing Covid vaccines are effective against severe disease with the highly contagious Omicron variant, especially among people who have received a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, the senior official said in an email. The decision followed the British government’s announcement on Tuesday that it was lifting its restrictions on travelers arriving from 11 African countries. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also advised Mr. Biden and his team that Omicron, which has passed Delta as the dominant variant in the United States, was so widely present across the world that it no longer made sense to restrict travel to and from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia, the official said.
Persons: Biden Organizations: Pfizer, Centers for Disease Control Locations: United States, Africa, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia
Dec 24 (Reuters) - The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions on eight southern African countries imposed last month over concerns about the fast-spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant, the White House said Friday. Foreign nationals who are barred from the United States because they have been in one of the eight countries within the prior 14 days will again be allowed on U.S.-bound flights leaving after 12:01 a.m. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterWhite House spokesman Kevin Munoz tweeted that Biden "will lift the temporary travel restrictions on Southern Africa countries" effective Dec. 31. 1/2 Passengers wait to board international flights, amidst the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron, at O.R. The United States had only lifted travel restrictions on South Africa on Nov. 8 put in place since late January to address COVID-19 concerns.
Persons: Biden, Kevin Munoz, Munoz, Sumaya Hisham, Anthony Fauci, David Shepardson, Nick Macfie Organizations: White, Centers for Disease Control, Prevention, Omicron, Reuters, Tambo International, REUTERS, United, CDC, Thomson Locations: United States, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Southern, O.R, Tambo, Johannesburg, Africa, Grand Rapids , Michigan
The raging Covid storm, whose toll may exponentially worsen as the ultracontagious omicron variant fully takes hold in the coming weeks, has seemed to do little to scuttle holiday travel plans. Yet, even as domestic travel in America continues largely unabated, the country is hypocritically banning travelers from southern Africa — South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi — from entering the country. Inevitably however, these travel bans only delayed the spread of the coronavirus by only a few weeks. In the face of the already widespread omicron variant, travel bans will now do little to keep us safer. Their use runs counter to the existing science and threatens trust in public health institutions.
Persons: Covid, Joe Biden, , Monica Gandhi, , ” Gandhi, Michael Osterholm, Saad Omer, Biden Organizations: AAA, Malawi —, omicron, University of California, Emergency Management, Science, Infectious Disease, University of Minnesota, Yale Institute for Global Health, The New York Times Locations: America, Africa, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, United States, Western Europe, Europe, San Francisco, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Wuhan, China
A compilation video of the massive creature leaping up and hugging her caretaker Valentin Gruener has gone viral on TikTok, amassing almost 195,000 likes on the short-form video app. He added that he named Sirga, who turns 10 next year, after the star of “L’enfant lion,” a 1993 film from France and Burkina Faso. “I think overall she’s got a very friendly and gentle personality for a lion.”After the video was posted to TikTok, the reaction from users was largely positive. Thank you for all the glimpses of what it would be like to work on a reserve,” another, @livingthequeenlife, said. Gruener said Sirga’s social media popularity had helped him to shed light on his work and wildlife conservation as a whole.
Persons: Valentin Gruener, Gruener, Sirga, , , “ Sirga Organizations: NBC Locations: Botswana, France, Burkina Faso
Summary France keeping close eye on surge in COVID cases in UKUK hit by flare-up in COVID Omicron variant numbersAround 130 confirmed cases of Omicron in FrancePARIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) - France is contemplating tightening controls for travellers coming from Britain, where the new, more contagious, Omicron coronavirus variant seems to be rapidly spreading, said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal. "Regarding Britain, the current rule is to show a negative test less than 48 hours old in order to enter France," Attal told France Info radio on Tuesday. read moreAttal said France, currently engulfed in a fifth wave of COVID fuelled mainly by the Delta variant, presently had 133 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong in late November. France reported on Dec 13 that a further 231 people had died from COVID in hospitals in the last 24 hours, while the number of COVID patients in intensive care units (ICUs) had risen by 150 to stand at 2,752. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterReporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-GuptaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Gabriel Attal, Attal, Boris Johnson, Benoit Van Overstraeten, Sudip Kar Organizations: Omicron, France, Gupta, Thomson Locations: France, France PARIS, Britain, United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, COVID
Early data suggests Omicron could evade some types of protection from vaccines. T cells could stop the worst ravages of Omicron, but may not stop mild infection. Those tests are what drove recent news headlines warning that even two doses of vaccine may be insufficient. Experts, however, warned that it is too soon to conclude how effective vaccines are against Omicron from this data alone, Insider previously reported. Early company data suggests that boosters may enhance the level of protective antibodies against Omicron, at least in countries where the shots are available.
Persons: Ulrich Elling, BioNTech, Andrew Redd, Eric Topol, Topol, Rachel Graham, Tshekiso Tebalo, there's Organizations: Service, Omicron, Pfizer, Molecular Biotechnology, National Institute of Allergy, Diseases, NBC, Scripps Research, University of North, Chapel Hill, Getty, World Health, Disease Locations: University of North Carolina, Chapel, COVID, Gaborone, Botswana, Xinhua, South Africa
Britain gave no details on the death other than the person had been diagnosed in hospital. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterDeaths from Omicron may have occurred in other countries but none has been publicly confirmed yet outside Britain. "Sadly at least one patient has now been confirmed to have died with Omicron," Johnson told reporters at a vaccination centre in London. Before the death was announced, Britain said 10 people had been hospitalised with Omicron in various parts of England. 1/6 An ambulance drives past St Thomas' Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, December 12, 2021.
Persons: Boris Johnson, Johnson, Sajid Javid, Javid, lockdowns, St, James Read, Ipsos MORI, Keir Starmer's, Thomas, Guy Faulconbridge, Michael Holden, Hannah McKay, Angus MacSwan, Giles Elgood, Mark Heinrich Our Organizations: Omicron, UK Health Security Agency, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, BioNTech, World Health Organization, St Thomas ' Hospital, REUTERS, Evening Standard, Labour, Johnson's Conservatives, Vaccination, National Health Service, Twitter, Thomson Locations: Britain, London, United Kingdom, England, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Europe, China, COVID, Kabul, Afghanistan, St, Manchester
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that a fourth dose of the company's COVID-19 vaccine may be needed amid Omicron fears. "I think we will need the fourth dose. The Omicron variant emerged in the US last week and has been found in 19 states. The CEO explained that he previously projected a fourth vaccine dose would be needed 12 months after a third shot, but that that timeline might need to be moved up. Pfizer said on Wednesday that its two-shot COVID-19 vaccine with a booster jab appeared effective against the Omicron variant, but that two doses alone produced a lesser response.
Persons: Albert Bourla, I've, Bourla, CNBC's, Pfizer, Botswana — Organizations: Pfizer, Service, Privacy, Omicron, Centers for Disease Control Locations: Botswana
During the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, South Africa's cases increased by 111% from the previous week, the WHO noted in a report released Wednesday. The World Health Organization said new Covid-19 cases in South Africa more than doubled over the last week amid the spread of the omicron variant, the dominant strain circulating in the country. To date, 25.2% of the total population in South Africa is fully vaccinated, according to the WHO. The data comes as the omicron variant spreads across the world with confirmed cases in 57 countries. South Africa and Botswana, which both detected the variant early on last month, account for 62% of omicron cases reported as of Dec. 2, a separate WHO report released Wednesday said.
Persons: Maria Van Kerkhove, Van Kerkhove, It's, Soumya Swaminathan, Swaminathan Organizations: WHO, World Health Organization, South, Pfizer Locations: Johannesburg, South Africa, Botswana
Early evidence suggests Omicron may be easier to catch than Delta, even for people who are vaccinated and boosted. In the US, the first documented Omicron case, a vaccinated Californian, experienced mild symptoms. The same types of stories are being shared out of South Africa, where patients are showing fatigue, and flu-like or cold-like symptoms. It's starting to look like that could be the case for Omicron, according to early evidence from South Africa. Both the very first Omicron case there, and many others since identified have been people under 50, fully vaccinated, who contracted mild illnesses.
Persons: Sikhulile Moyo, Dr, Anthony Fauci, Fauci, they're, Angelique Coetzee, CGTN, Dean, He'd, Müge Çevik, , Organization's, Maria Van Kerkhove, Pierre Crom, we'll, didn't Organizations: Alpha, Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Associated Press, AFP, Anime NYC, Washington Post, South African Medical Association, African Medical Research, Pfizer, White, California Department of Public Health, Beta, Moderna, Omicron, CBS Locations: Botswana, South Africa, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, South African, Tshwane, Delta, Minnesota, California, Amsterdam Schiphol
November 26, 2021: WHO says that the Omicron variant was discovered in South Africa on November 24, 2021. November 26, 2021 onwards: Many countries rush to ban flights and immigration from South Africa. Did Pfizer collaborate with the WHO to punish South Africa for refusing more shipments of the vaccine?”One user who shared the post on Facebook said: “DO NOT BE DECEIVED!!!! The Omicron variant did not arise as a retaliatory action against South Africa for delaying vaccine deliveries, nor did South Africa refuse delivery of vaccines in totality. The Omicron variant did not arise to punish South Africa for delaying taking delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Persons: Johnson, Kate Grusich, ” Wolfgang Preiser, Health Organization’s, Soumya Swaminathan, Read Organizations: Pfizer, WHO, Facebook, South, Reuters, Johnson, Centers for Disease Control, Research, Virology, Stellenbosch University, National Health Laboratory Service, Lancet Laboratories, Health Locations: South Africa, Africa, United States, Botswana
Thailand detects first case of Omicron variant
  + stars: | 2021-12-06 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
A waitress waits for customer at a restaurant in Khaosan Road, one of the favourite tourist spots, as Thailand bans entry from eight African countries over the coronavirus Omicron variant, in Bangkok, Thailand, November 30, 2021. "This first confirmed case of Omicron variant is a 35-year-old man who is a U.S. citizen who lived in Spain for a year," Opas said adding that the patient had mild symptom. Thailand banned travelers from eight African countries including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe at the start of December amid concerns about the Omicron variant. read moreOpas said authorities had also limited travel from other African countries and were monitoring for more potential cases among international travelers. Thailand reported 4,000 new coronavirus cases and 22 new deaths on Monday, taking the tally to more than 2.1 million cases and 20,966 deaths since the pandemic started last year.
Persons: Opas Karnkawinpong, Opas, Panu, Ed Davies Organizations: REUTERS, Omicron, Department of Disease, Thomson Locations: Thailand, Bangkok, BANGKOK, U.S, Spain, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe
The rules of international travel are changing — again. The United States does not require that travelers test upon landing and entering the U.S. They're offered by XpresSpa Group, which has expanded from airport massages and other spa services into airport Covid testing since the pandemic started, and Ginkgo Bioworks. The program is available at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. XpresSpa's XpresCheck subsidiary also offers rapid testing at various U.S. airports with prices ranging from $75 for a PCR test to $250 for a rapid PCR test.
Persons: Biden, They're, Ginkgo, John F, XpresSpa's Organizations: U.S, Disease, CDC, XpresSpa Group, John, Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, Jackson Atlanta International Airport, San Francisco International Airport Locations: Africa, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, U.S, United States, New York, New Jersey, Hartsfield
Boeing, airlines and other travel stocks surged on Monday after health experts shared early signs that the omicron variant of Covid may be causing milder symptoms than previous strains. The travel sector was hard-hit by the emergence of omicron variant, which Botswana and South Africa first reported late last month. Cases were quickly detected in countries around the world, sparking renewed travel restrictions and outright bans, shortly after rules for international trips were loosened. "Everybody who is infected with SARS-CoV-2 regardless of what variant will always start out with a mild disease. And so maybe it will stop there with mild, some people are asymptomatic of course, but it may stop with mild disease or it may take some time."
Persons: Anthony Fauci, Expedia, it's, Maria Van Kerkhove, Holly Ellyatt Organizations: American Airlines, LAX, Boeing, CNN, South African Medical Research Council, American Airlines and United Airlines, Cruise Line, Royal, World Health Organization, omicron, Omicron, U.S Locations: Los Angeles , California, Botswana, South Africa, Royal Caribbean
At least 15 states have detected the omicron coronavirus variant and that number is expected to rise, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told ABC News on Sunday. And we are every day hearing about more and more probable cases so that number is likely to rise," Walensky said on "This Week." After being detected in several other countries, the U.S. reported its first omicron case on Dec. 1. Still, the vast majority of cases in the U.S. are still caused by the delta variant. "We have about 90 to 100,000 cases a day right now in the United States, and 99.9% of them are the delta variant," Walensky said.
Persons: Rochelle Walensky, Walensky, Anthony Fauci Organizations: Centers for Disease Control, Health, Education, Labor, for Disease Control, ABC News Locations: South Africa, U.S, Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, United States
The Omicron variant has a strange set of mutations. That has led scientists to wonder about its origin — namely, whether it came from humans or animals. Omicron doesn't resemble common coronavirus variants like Alpha or Delta (still the world's dominant strain), and many of its strange mutations haven't been spotted in other variants before. To develop that many mutations, scientists say, the virus needs plenty of opportunities to replicate — a sign that Omicron likely evolved in an immunocompromised host. "If we actually found the Omicron variant in a wildlife population, that would obviously be a smoking gun," Read said.
Persons: It's, Delta, Andrew Read, haven't, Dean, Robert Garry, , Martin Hibberd, Daniel Becerril, Read, Hibberd, Kit MacAvoy, we're, Pierre Crom Organizations: Service, Pennsylvania State University, California Department of Public Health, Tulane Medical School, STAT, London School of Hygiene, Medicine, Reuters Omicron, New England, of Medicine, Alpha, Gamma, Omicron, Getty Locations: Botswana, Haiti, Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, South Carolina, Europe, South Africa, Amsterdam Schiphol
Credit... Mario Tama/Getty ImagesThe global pandemic response has transformed with dizzying speed since scientists in Botswana and South Africa, alarmed by dozens of mutations never seen before, started studying the Omicron variant. According to scientists in South Africa, Omicron appears to spread faster than any other variant, thanks to a combination of contagiousness and an ability to dodge the body’s immune defenses. International concern has not waited for a fuller picture to take shape. In an emergency meeting the day after South Africa flagged the variant, the W.H.O. labeled Omicron a “variant of concern,” its most serious category, a distinction it shares with the Delta variant that emerged last spring.
Persons: Mario Tama Organizations: Los Angeles International Airport, Credit, Omicron, World Health, Africa Locations: Botswana, South Africa
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