On Sunday, the United States health officials said that the COVID-19 Omicron variant spread to almost one-third of American states. Still, the Delta variant remains the majority of coronavirus infections as cases rise countrywide. The top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN, yet the rise of the new COVID variant raised alarms globally; so far, it doesn’t look like there is a great extent of seriousness to it.
Fauci added that it was ahead of time to draw absolute conclusions and that more study is required. Furthermore, U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser hoped the U.S. would withdraw its ban on travelers from southern African nations in a reasonable period. The government of South Africa protested that the world punished it for discovering the deadly variant, and they were expecting praise from the international community.
“The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has spread to about one-third of U.S. states, but the Delta version remains the majority of COVID-19 infections as cases rise nationwide, U.S. health officials said on Sunday.” pic.twitter.com/2tGwFgzYY9
— Graphenes (@Graphenes1) December 6, 2021
During an interview on the CNN’s State of Union, Fauci praised the South African government for its transparency and said the United States officials imposed a travel ban at a time when they were really in the dark and required time to investigate the variant. At least sixteen American states reported Omicron cases: Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, New York, Washington, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Utah, according to Reutter’s statistics.
Delta Variant Still Accounts for 99.9% of New U.S. Cases
Many of the Omicron cases were reported among fully vaccinated Americans with mild symptoms, although the booster dose status of some patients was unreported. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told ABC News that despite many dozen latest variant cases, the previously detected Delta variant still accounts for 99.9 percent of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. Additionally, she said that the health agency hears about more and more likely cases every day so that number may surge.
During the last seven days, the U.S. averaged one hundred and nineteen thousand new cases per day and lost approximately thirteen hundred lives to coronavirus every day. Louisiana health department said that currently, the state has one Omicron case from a person who traveled within the U.S. in addition, it said on Saturday that a Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd cruise ship over three thousand passengers found ten cases of coronavirus on board.
Officials said passengers on the Norwegian Breakaway, which stopped in Mexico, Belize, and Honduras, would be tested and given the post-exposure of the CDC and quarantine guidelines. The emergence of Omicron sharply curbed the number of government ministers and energy executives proposing to attend the 4-day World Petroleum Congress in Houston this week, which was previously rescheduled from 2020.
Global Travel Restrictions and Concerns over Omicron Variant
However, travel restrictions and concerns over the Omicron variant saw energy ministers from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Greece, Argentina, Romania, and Equatorial Guinea, WPC officials said on Sunday. Governors of Colorado and Connecticut reported the new variant cases, said they hoped their higher-than-average inoculation rates would diminish the impact.
Jared Polis of Colorado told ABC News that they want to see how well the vaccinations hold up. As Omicron cases emerge in the United States, coronavirus vaccine manufacturers intend to modify their doses to target the variant instantly, and state regulators pledged speedy reviews, but that could still take some months.
Moderna Asked for U.S. Approval for an Updated Coronavirus Vaccine
Walensky said Food and Drug Administration would move quickly, and CDC would rush. Moderna targeted United States approval of an updated coronavirus vaccine as early as March, but its officials said on Sunday that it would take time to surge output. Noubar Afeyan, the Chairman and Co-founder of Moderna, told CNN News that it would take another seven to ten days to collect influential statistics. Afterward, it will take a good sixty to hundred days to launch an Omicron-specific dose.
However, other options such as a higher shot of the current booster are being explored. The United States government officials are also working with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc. on updated doses, while Merck & Co Inc. and Pfizer are pursuing coronavirus pill treatments. New York, the tri-state area, reported just under a dozen Omicron cases as hospitals continue to fee the strain from the highly contagious Delta surge.
Moreover, the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 cases surged over in November from more than three thousand new cases at the October end to about seventy-five hundred cases three weeks after identifying the Omicron variant in South Africa. Health officials know little about the new variant instead of signals that it possesses huge transmissibility than other coronavirus variants, elevating concerns in states already combating hospital space.
According to the New York Times, Upstate hospital suffered from the delta variant surge. So, Governor Hochul deployed one hundred and twenty National Guard troops to back nursing homes at nine different facilities across the state. In addition, hospitals with more than ninety percent capacity may stop elective surgeries of other patients as well to help combat the surge.
South Africa Still Not Reported Sharp Increase in Deaths
So far, South Africa, the first country to report the Omicron variant, didn’t report a sharp rise in deaths and ICU admissions due to the variant. However, over the last week, daily cases tripled from just under one thousand cases on 29th November to more than three thousand by 3rd December, according to the South African Medical Research Council Saturday report. However, hospitalizations increased, but the good thing is that most patients in the coronavirus wards didn’t require oxygen cylinders.
The sharp rise in hospitalizations in the country may also be incidental, with a significant number of patients testing positive for coronavirus after admission for another unrelated disease. Additionally, health officials emphasized that the statistics are just from the initial two weeks following the detection of Omicron. They need more time to find the complete seriousness of cases. According to Health Minister Joe Phaahla, individuals must not worry as the Omicron is more infectious but looks to bring milder illness, as hospitalization appears to show.