The preliminary studies on the Omicron variant of coronavirus point out that it might be much less harmful than Delta which continues to drive a surge in hospitalisations, in keeping with high US infectious illness expert Dr Anthony Fauci.
While the brand new variant of concern is fastly changing into the dominant pressure in South Africa, the hospitalisation charges haven’t elevated alarmingly. But Fauci has cautioned towards drawing conclusions about the severity of sickness brought on by Omicron primarily based on early knowledge.
“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” President Joe Biden’s chief medial adviser stated at CNN’s State of the Union.
“But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to Delta,” he added.
Even because the Omicron variant has unfold to at the very least 17 US states, Fauci stated the Biden administration is reevaluating the journey restrictions on south African international locations as extra info turns into accessible.
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UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres blasted such measures as “travel apartheid” and experts have raised concern that it could affect transparency in future. Critics of the travel ban argue that the Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa and doesn’t necessarily mean that it originated there.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to lift that ban in a quite reasonable period of time,” Fauci stated. “We all feel very badly about the hardship that has been put on not only on South Africa but the other African countries.”
World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, nevertheless, advised CBS’ Face The Nation that even when numerous Omicron circumstances are mild, a few of these will want hospitalisations.
“They will need to go into ICU and some people will die. … We don’t want to see that happen on top of an already difficult situation with delta circulating globally,” she stated.