No cases of new Covid-19 variant detected in South Africa have been identified in the United States to date, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) designated the B.1.1.529 variant, dubbed Omicron, as being “of concern,” the fifth variant to be classified as such.
“We expect Omicron to be identified quickly, if it emerges in the US,” CDC said in a statement.
To address the threat, US President Joe Biden will restrict travel to the United States from eight southern African countries effective from Monday over concerns about the variant, a senior administration official said on Friday.
The official said the restrictions will apply to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi and were being “implemented out of an abundance of caution in light of a new Covid-19 variant circulating in Southern Africa.”
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