Over a new variant of coronavirus, omicron, the united states lifted travel ban on eight South African countries.

After the Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa, the United States will lift the travel restriction on the eight countries, including South Africa, which were put in the previous month over concerns about the fast-spreading Covid-19 Omicron variant, according to an official. On the new year’s evening, this will affect Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and Zimbabwe from the CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Us to Lift Travel Restrictions
Us to Lift Travel Restrictions Image Source : aljazeera.com

The White House Statements About Omicron

The White House said. These measures were not needed during the growth of omicron variant cases. 

The White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz tweeted, “these restraints help us to understand the covid variant of Omicron. Our booster vaccines will work against it. “According to an official, these restraints will lift on December 31 at 12:01 a.m.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was done the previous month when we were actually in the dark about omicrons. But, he added,” the restraints which were not only with South Africa, but the other African countries we feel very bad about.

Canada’s Situation

Canada last week lifted a ban on foreign visitors from 10 countries. But, according to a Canadian report, the ban forced several citizens to travel through Ethiopia.

A Cause for Concern, Not a Cause for Panic

The World Health Organization called this variant a strain of the “concerned variant” and said it is perilous. The United States has strict requirements. All international travellers must provide evidence of a negative test result.

Mr. Biden has earlier called Omicron “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” The restriction is only applicable to non- United States citizens and the person returning to the state. According to a study in the UK, The Omicron was first reported in South Africa, and doctors in South Africa said that the infections of this new omicron variant could cause mild disease.

Omicron in the United States

The virus is spreading faster than any other variant in the United States. However, only one death in the United States has been reported from Omicron. A man from Texas aged 50 was unvaccinated in an underlying situation.

But other global experts and world health organizations denounce the travel ban. In a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on December 1, it is said that restrictions are ineffective.

Amid the travel ban, Mr. Biden decreased the time for testing to one day instead of three days. According to the official, the visitors from these eight countries will adhere to these strict protocols.

Preventions to Fight Omicron

The state department secretary of state Antony Blinken thanks scientists of South Africa for their expertise in identifying the omicron variant in a phone call with Naledi Pandor.

In a statement describing the call, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “he highlighted the importance of the longtime relationship between South Africa and the United state to fight the impact of covid -19”.

According to CDC, Omicron is becoming the most effective coronavirus in the US, responsible for 73% of new cases.

To prevent the spread of viruses, some significant states of the United States strict their adherence and make masks mandatory. In addition, president Biden requested additional resources to fight the spread of the virus.

Mr. Biden said to purchase a 500 million rapid home test kit, which will be available from January. He requested people to get vaccinated and take boosters. He also promised to provide support for hospitals and the healthcare industry.

Mr. Biden requested Americans to wear masks and get boosters and vaccines. He added that our health experts recommend providing the most challenging security. We still have several persons who have not received the vaccines yet are eligible.

Director-General of world health organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday that rather than the person who is vaccinated already, priority should give to those who are not.

Reasons for these Restrictions 

According to a senior official, it is clear that these restraints put little security in countries near South Africa. Therefore, it is suitable for border traveling.

According to an official, Biden requested to oppose the ban. However, on Tuesday, president Joe Biden said that he is considering lifting the restraints.

According to a senior administration, the CDC suggested the restraints for two possible reasons:

The first reason is that our health experts help us to understand Omicron. If you are vaccinated, our vaccines are effective enough to fight Omicron.

The official said the second reason is Omicron is present across the US and globally. Therefore, the visitors from these countries will not have a significant impact on the US.

All countries now had to follow the same guidelines imposed by the United States. In addition, it is mandatory to be fully vaccinated and a negative test report before traveling.

What Next..

Mr. Biden decided on the suggestion of CDS, which indicates the proof that vaccines of coronavirus are effective enough at preventing the disease from spreading.

According to our doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the restraints are early in the pandemic before the virus spreads widely.

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