President Joe Biden outlined his plan to combat the coronavirus on Thursday, as the highly contagious Omicron spread around the globe and just hours after the first documented case of community transmission of the variant in the United States was recorded.

With authorities all around the world scrambling to contain Omicron, Biden predicted that infection rates would soar this winter.

Speaking at the National Institutes of Health’s Maryland medical research site, he stated, “We’re going to fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion.”

New York’s governor announced that the state has reported five cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant, making it the fourth state in the United States to do so, increasing the total number of cases in the country to eight.

One of the cases involves a 67-year-old Long Island woman with minor symptoms who had recently returned from South Africa, according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

California, Colorado, and Minnesota, each with one case, are the other states where Omicron has been discovered. Patients were fully vaccinated in all three cases and only experienced minor effects.

Omicron was originally detected in southern Africa last month and has since been reported in at least two dozen countries, just as sections of Europe were already dealing with a wave of Delta variant.

Inbound foreign travellers will be required to be tested for COVID-19 within one day of departure, regardless of vaccination status, under Biden’s plan. The deadline for wearing a mask on aircraft, trains, and public transportation vehicles has been extended until March 18.

According to administration officials, the US government will require private health insurers to reimburse their 150 million customers for 100 percent of the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests, and will make 50 million more tests available free to the uninsured through rural clinics and health centres.

The United States has one of the lowest vaccination rates among developed nations, with less than 60% of the population, or 196 million people, fully vaccinated.

As the pandemic continues, fears about the Omicron form have stirred up financial markets and cast doubt on the speed with which the global economy can recover. On Thursday, stocks sank and crude oil futures continued to fall.

– India’s new age travel digital media


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