Middle East

The U.S. will lift a travel ban in southern Africa next week, officials say

When the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (Covid-19) was first detected, the United States will lift travel bans imposed on several countries in southern Africa next week, top executives said yesterday.
Countries around the world have curtailed travel from South Africa after the mutation was detected in South Africa, which reported Omicron to the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 24.
WHO and the United Nations opposed the travel ban, saying South African officials were punished for identifying tensions and maintaining transparency.
“We know that restrictions give us time to understand Omicron and that existing vaccines are effective against Omicrons, especially (boosters),” White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz said on Twitter. Said.
He said the decision was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Mr Munos said the travel ban would be lifted on 31 December.
Reuters previously reported that the US public health agency recommended lifting the travel ban. This is because the current spread of infection in the United States, the conviction that Omicron-specific vaccines are not needed, and existing vaccines and booster shots are very effective.
“The suspension of this trip served its purpose. It took time to understand science and gave time to analyze variants,” the decision was identified because it had not yet been published. Officials who didn’t want to tell Reuters. “This is not intended to keep Omicron out. We knew we couldn’t. It’s important to reduce the number of cases that occur in the early days and weeks. was.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease expert, said on Monday that the restrictions are likely to be lifted. .. “
The ban has been applied to Southern Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.
Holiday celebrations are expected to further boost cases of Covid-19 in the United States. In this case, a highly mutated variant of Omicron puts some hospitals and exhausted health care workers at risk.
Currently, Omicron accounts for more than 90% of all cases in some parts of the country.
According to the non-profit website Covid Act Now, the average number of new 7-day cases is about to exceed the delta peak seen in September.
Intensive care units are nearly full in some states.
US health authorities are funding vaccinations to reduce the number of severe Covid-19 cases, and vaccinations are strong throughout the week.
President Joe Biden also announced this week that the federal government has purchased 500 million rapid tests.
However, additional testing is not expected to be available until January.
Infection rates have skyrocketed across South Africa as a result of the Omicron variant, but fewer people have died or need hospital treatment compared to the previous Covid-19 wave.
Omicron is known to be much more contagious than its predecessor, the Covid-19 variant, but appears to cause less severe illness than its predecessor.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/706837/US-to-lift-travel-ban-on-southern-Africa-next-week The U.S. will lift a travel ban in southern Africa next week, officials say

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