In the wake of rising Omicron instances, which have forced governments around the world to reimpose restrictions ahead of the holidays, the United States announced Tuesday that it will distribute hundreds of millions of free Covid tests.
In addition, the US stated on Tuesday that it will provide more than $500 million in international Covid aid to help countries combat the pandemic, while Israel announced further travel restrictions on Americans.
The EU drugs authority said it was too early to decide if drug companies needed to produce an Omicron-specific vaccination due to concerns that the highly mutated form might not be as effective against vaccines. Despite early evidence that it does not cause a more severe form of Covid-19 than the Delta strain, Omicron, which is now seen in dozens of countries, appears to be more infectious .
Its quick spread around the globe has pushed countries to reimpose restrictions ahead of the holidays, putting a damper on expectations that the pandemic’s worst is behind it.
After a White House official stated the government will give 500 million free Covid tests and activate military medical staff if needed, US President Joe Biden was scheduled to address the public later Tuesday. “We have the resources to go through this wave,” the official said, adding that no new restrictions are planned.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US will provide $580 million (654 million euros) in extra help to international organisations to combat Covid in the face of rising Omicron cases. The announcements came after the CDC reported that Omicron was responsible for 73.2 percent of new cases in the United States in the week ending Saturday.
Denmark said on Tuesday that it has become the prevalent strain there as well.
Late Monday, Biden took to Twitter to urge people to be vaccinated and take precautions like as donning masks, noting that Omicron infections are on the rise.
“You will face an extraordinarily difficult winter for your family and community if you choose to be unvaccinated as an adult,” he stated.