Dr. Anthony Fauci called on the public to be vigilant as the deadly Omicron COVID variant might already be in America.
“When you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you’re already having travel-related cases that they’ve noted in Israel and Belgium and other places, when you have a virus like this, it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over,” Fauci said.
In view of the latest COVID strain, the US, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, will impose a ban on travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi. US citizens and permanent residents are exempt.
Aside from the travel ban, the US State Department on Saturday formally warned Americans against traveling to South Africa and seven of its neighbors.
Earlier, the World Health Organization on Friday labeled Omicron a variant of concern, just as it had done for the delta variant.
It was learned that experts are worried about how fast it may spread and whether it will cause people to become sicker than the existing delta strain of the virus.