•   
  •   

Entertainment Fauci warns arrival of Omicron variant in the US is 'inevitable'

22:01  28 november  2021
22:01  28 november  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

South Africa tries to calm fears over new Covid variant 'Omicron'

  South Africa tries to calm fears over new Covid variant 'Omicron' Belgium revealed a case of the variant - named 'Omicron' by the WHO overnight - prompting EU chiefs to call for an 'emergency brake' on all travel from southern Africa after it was found in Israel.South African medics moved to calm a wave of panic over a new ultra-infectious and vaccine resistant Covid strain today as its arrival in Europe sparked fears of a new Christmas shutdown.

MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Omicron variant, an 'unusual' strain of COVID emerging from Southern Africa, still has not been detected in the US after the White House banned travel to eight nations on Friday, but Dr Anthony Fauci warns that a fifth wave could still be coming.

'The fifth wave, or the magnitude of any increase... will really be dependent upon what we do in the new few weeks to a couple months,' Fauci said on CBS's 'Face the Nation' today.

He urged Americans to get their booster shots, or their initial jabs if they had yet to get vaccinated ' 'if we do that successfully... we can mitigate any increase.'

We Know Almost Nothing About the Omicron Variant

  We Know Almost Nothing About the Omicron Variant Here’s everything we do.

The South African doctor who first raised the alarm on the variant revealed that patients did not exhibit telltale symptoms such as loss of taste and smell after contracting the virus, but had high pulse rates, fatigue and muscle aches.

'We all know when you have a virus that has already gone to multiple countries, inevitably it will be here,' Fauci said on ABC's This Week on Sunday.

'It has a bunch of mutations,' Fauci said, including, 'a disturbingly large number of mutations in the spike protein, which is the business end of the virus.'

On NBC's 'Meet the Press,' Fauci said that there is a 'strong indication' that the new variant could be resistant to lab-made monoclonal antibodies and antibodies donated from those who have recovered from the virus and 'possible against even some of the vaccine-induced antibodies.'

PM 'fully supports' action by NSW and VIC with Omicron fears growing

  PM 'fully supports' action by NSW and VIC with Omicron fears growing The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he 'fully supports' the action taken by New South Wales and Victoria amid growing fears over the super-contagious Omicron strain of Covid-19. But Dr Paul Griffin, Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health in Brisbane, said it was still too early to judge the risks of Omicron.'I don't think we're back to square one. I mean, I think a lot of us thought this is what this virus is going to keep doing, going to keep evolving and we are going to keep finding new variants,' he told ABC.

'It's clearly giving the indication it has the capability of transmitting rapidly,' Fauci said. 'That's what's causing us to be concerned.'

( © Provided by Daily Mail (

Moderna's Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said on Sunday that their vaccine could be reformulated against the new variant, but the updated version won't be available for another few months, until the beginning of 2022.

'We should know about the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection in the next couple of weeks,' he said on BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins said in an interview with 'Fox News on Sunday' that Omicron had an unprecedented number of mutations - 'like 50 of them and more than 30 of those in the spike protein, which is the part of the virus that attaches to your human cells if you get infected.'

'That is a new record in terms of the number of mutations,' he said. 'It does make you worry, therefore, that it's a sufficiently different virus, that it might not respond as well to protection from the vaccines. But we don't know that.'

TWO confirmed cases of fears Omicron Covid strain are found in Sydney

  TWO confirmed cases of fears Omicron Covid strain are found in Sydney NSW Health announced on Sunday urgent genomic testing had confirmed two overseas travellers have the South African variant of the virus.NSW Health confirmed on Sunday urgent genomic testing found the two travellers who touched down in Sydney on Saturday night have the new strain.

The new strain of COVID was dubbed a 'variant of concern' last week by the World Health Organization (WHO).

This afternoon, President Joe Biden will have an in-person briefing with members of his COVID-19 response team and Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Fauci to provide an update on the Omicron variant and the Administration’s response.

Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the FDA, said today on 'Face the Nation' that the variant is 'almost definitely' already in America:

'Just looking at the number of cases coming off planes this weekend, it's almost a certainty that there some cases that have gotten into the United States.'

Today, flight UA 187 from Johannesburg, South Africa landed at Newark Liberty International Airport ahead of the Biden administration's travel ban, which will go into effect on Monday.

Biden's travel restrictions do not ban flights or apply to U.S. citizens and lawful U.S. permanent residents. However, most non-residents who have been to Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland or Zimbabwe within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the country.

Dominic Perrottet vows NSW will stay open despite Omicron variant

  Dominic Perrottet vows NSW will stay open despite Omicron variant NSW Health confirmed on Sunday two travellers who touched down in Sydney on Saturday night have the new South African Covid variant, Omicron, which is feared to be more transmissible than Delta.NSW Health confirmed on Sunday urgent genomic testing found two travellers who touched down in Sydney from southern Africa on Saturday night have the new strain.

Rattled by news of the variant, which experts say could be resistant to the COVID vaccine, the stock market had its worst trading day of 2021 for the blue-chip index on Friday.

Midday, the DOW plunged by more than 1,000 points, closing 2.5 percent lower at 34,899. S&P 500 dropped by 2.3 percent and closed at 4,594, its biggest drop since February, and the Nasdaq closed at 15,491, losing 2.2 percent of its value.

However, Gottlieb addressed fears that the new variant would reverse progress made since the pandemic began, revealing that the CDC will set up a surveillance system specifically for the omicron strain, and is sequencing 100,000 cases per week:

'We're in a much better place than we were a year ago when B.1.1.7 first arrived or when delta first arrived,' he said.

( © Provided by Daily Mail ( ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The variant was first detected in South Africa by  Dr Angelique Coetzee, who runs a private practice in the South African administrative capital of Pretoria, said she first noticed earlier this month that COVID patients were presenting with a host of odd symptoms.

The doctor, who has practiced for over 30 years and chairs the South African Medical Association, said that none of the Omicron patients suffered from a loss of taste of smell typically associated with Covid, but instead presented with unusual markers like intense fatigue and a high pulse rate.

Omicron: What we know about the newest COVID variant of concern

  Omicron: What we know about the newest COVID variant of concern Scientists around the world are racing to understand more about the latest COVID-19 variant, dubbed Omicron. While there's still a lot to learn, here's a little bit of what we do (and don't) know so far.On Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Omicron as a variant of concern, amid fears it could potentially be more transmissible and able to evade immune protection.

'Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,' Dr Coetzee told The Telegraph.

She was compelled to inform South Africa's vaccine advisory board on November 18 when she treated a family of four, all of whom were suffering with intense fatigue after testing positive for COVID-19.

Dr Coetzee reassured the media that the new symptoms she had observed were 'mild', and that all of the patients she was treating had recovered well.

'We had one very interesting case, a kid, about six years old, with a temperature and a very high pulse rate, and I wondered if I should admit her,' Dr Coetzee said,

'When I followed up two days later, she was so much better.'

But the doctor also said she was worried the variant could pose a greater danger to the elderly.

On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a COVID-19 'disaster emergency' declaration, citing increasing rates of infections and hospitalizations. She did not reference the Omicron variant.

The United States only lifted the travel curbs on 33 countries including South Africa, China, much of Europe, India, Brazil, Ireland, Britain and Iran on Nov. 8, after blocking the entry of most foreign nationals who had recently been in those countries since beginning in early 2020.

As of Sunday, confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases caused by the new variant have been detected in a growing number of regions, including Britain, Belgium, Botswana, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Israel and the Czech Republic.

Omicron: New variant ‘not a cause for panic’, says Biden

  Omicron: New variant ‘not a cause for panic’, says Biden US president urges people to get vaccinated, but says country is in good position to control strain’s potential spread.In remarks delivered at the White House on Monday, Biden said top United States health officials are consulting with leading vaccine makers and preparing for possible updates to account for Omicron’s mutations.

The majority of those infected had recently traveled to affected African countries, according to the Washington Post.

Austria also joined the growing list of countries where the variant has been reported, detecting its first suspected case of the new variant in the Tirol region, Reuters reported Sunday, citing Austrian officials.

( © Provided by Daily Mail ( ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

When asked by today whether this new variant of COVID was 'more severe' than its predecessors, Fauci said that US scientists met with counterparts in South Africa on Friday and plan to do so again today 'to try and find out of the cases they have identified that clearly are caused by this variant, what is the level of severity in that.'

'Hopefully, it will be light,' he said.

Biden called on nations meeting at the World Trade Organization next week to waive intellectual property (IP) protections for COVID-19 vaccines in the wake of the new variant.

'The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations,' Biden said in a statement.

However, the WTO meeting was postponed because concerns about the variant, sources told Reuters, potentially making the already slow and uncertain process of intellectual property waivers even more so.

( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The discovery of the new variant has prompted several other countries to reinforce Covid restrictions and impose stringent border controls in an attempt to contain the spread.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday imposed isolation for all UK arrivals pending PCR test results and mandatory masks in shops and on trains, and placed a host of countries on the 'red list' for travel restrictions.

Switzerland has said that only Swiss nationals and permanent residents can enter, but a pre-departure negative test must be proven alongside a 10-day mandatory quarantine, while Spain has also announced a ban on unvaccinated Britons after neighbor Portugal said it would demand proof of a negative coronavirus test to let even the double-jabbed enter the country.

Omicron joins an alphabet of COVID-19 variants — here’s how it differs to those that came before

  Omicron joins an alphabet of COVID-19 variants — here’s how it differs to those that came before There have been 11 COVID-19 strains named by the WHO, including the newly-identified Omicron. But what happened to the rest of them?At present, it is unclear whether Omicron is more transmissible than Delta, which prompted lockdowns across Australia's east coast earlier this year, or if it will impact vaccine immunity.

Health authorities in Australia's New South Wales meanwhile will send people who have been overseas in the two weeks before their arrival into three days of home quarantine, after two fully-vaccinated, asymptomatic passengers from southern Africa flying into Sydney from Doha, Qatar on Saturday evening tested positive for the variant.

Nicole A. Errett, a professor at the University of Washington who has done research on public health emergency preparedness, told the Washington Post that the travel ban was probably issued too late to stop the variant from reaching the US.

'By the time we have enough information to institute a travel ban, the cat’s already out of the bag, so to speak,' Errett said. 'Omicron has already been detected in other continents. A travel ban could in theory buy some time by reducing the spread of new seed cases, but we are talking on the order of days to weeks.'

Dr. Fauci admitted on 'Meet the Press' that we 'certainly are not going to eradicate' COVID-19 entirely on the broadcast, but will hopefully 'get a level of control that's low enough that doesn't interfere with our function.'

'It doesn't have a major impact on society and what we do, but it's not going to go away.'

What do we know about the Omicron variant?

Scientists have said they are concerned about the B.1.1.529 variant, named by the World Health Organisation as Omicron, as it has around 30 different mutations - double the amount present in the Delta variant. The mutations contain features seen in all of the other variants but also traits that have not been seen before.

UK scientists first became aware of the new strain on November 23 after samples were uploaded on to a coronavirus variant tracking website from South Africa, Hong Kong and then Botswana.

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), told Good Morning Britain on Friday that sequencing is being carried out around the UK to determine if any cases have already been imported.

Work is also under way to see whether the new variant may be causing new infection in people who have already had coronavirus or a vaccine, or whether waning immunity may be playing a role.

Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute in Oxford, has said the new variant will 'almost certainly' make vaccines less effective, though they would still offer protection.

Pfizer/BioNTech, which has produced a vaccine against Covid-19, is already studying the new variant's ability to evade vaccines.

Read more

Omicron joins an alphabet of COVID-19 variants — here’s how it differs to those that came before .
There have been 11 COVID-19 strains named by the WHO, including the newly-identified Omicron. But what happened to the rest of them?At present, it is unclear whether Omicron is more transmissible than Delta, which prompted lockdowns across Australia's east coast earlier this year, or if it will impact vaccine immunity.

usr: 0
This is interesting!