Biden says does not anticipate further travel restrictions over Omicron

President Joe Biden urged Americans not to panic Monday as scientists and public health officials assess the threat of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, asking Americans to redouble their commitment to measures that could halt the spread of virus

Biden’s Monday afternoon update on Omicron represented the administration’s latest attempt to assure Americans that they are moving swiftly to try to contain the spread of the new variant.

His first move last week was to announce new US restrictions on travel from South Africa and seven other countries that took effect Monday.

Patients who contracted it complain of fatigue, head and body aches and occasional sore throats and coughs, said Angelique Coetzee, who is also chairwoman of the South African Medical Association. Delta infections, by comparison, caused elevated pulse rates, resulted in low oxygen levels and a loss of smell and taste, she said.

After weeks of almost no Covid patients at her practice in Pretoria, the capital and epicenter of South Africa’s current surge, Coetzee said she suddenly started seeing patients complain of the symptoms on Nov. 18. She immediately informed the government’s Ministerial Advisory Council on Covid-19, and laboratories the next week identified a new variant, she said.

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