Earlier, a ban on entry into the United States from a number of African countries, where a new version of COVID-19 is common, came into force.
The United States is unlikely to impose additional restrictions due to the expected penetration of a new strain of omicron into the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief infectious disease specialist of the United States, said on Monday after a ban on entry from some countries of southern Africa came into force.
According to Fauci, who informs President Joe Biden on Monday about the development of the situation, although the authorities are preparing to identify the first confirmed case of a new variant of coronavirus in the United States, vaccines remain the main means of mitigating its impact.
Earlier, the United States blocked most travelers from eight South African countries from entering the country in order to slow down the transmission of the virus and give experts more time to evaluate the new strain.
When asked whether further restrictions could be imposed, Fauci said on ABC News: “I don’t think so at all.”
Biden is expected to make a public statement on efforts to combat the coronavirus at 11:45 a.m. ET after meeting with Fauci and other members of the COVID-19 working group.
Fauci and other U.S. health officials on Monday said they expected the new variant to enter the country and urged Americans to get vaccinated and revaccinated.
“Of course, we are on high alert,” Fauci said. “Sooner or later, this option will inevitably become widespread.”
The head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said that so far vaccines have demonstrated their effectiveness against new variants of COVID-19, so the authorities hope that this will be the case with the Omicron strain. Vaccine manufacturers are rushing to conduct trials as soon as possible.
“There are grounds for optimism here,” Collins told MSNBC.