On Friday, Nov. 26, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said the U.S. must analyze the data before deciding whether or not to limit travel for the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.
Fauci mentioned that a flight restriction from southern Africa is conceivable and that the U.S. is gathering data on the new COVID-19 variant.
He stated that no decision to suspend flights had been made yet.
Fauci added, U.S. experts will meet with their South African counterparts about the new variety, known as B.1.1.529, and by its new name, Omicron, designated by the WHO. Its perceived virulence has prompted worries about the possibility of transmission, its spread, and its ability to avoid immunological responses.
He also stated that the new variation has not yet appeared in the United States.
The European Union and the United Kingdom are increasing border controls in response to the new variety discovered in South Africa, as experts try to figure out if this mutation is resistant to the vaccination.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against hasty, ill-considered action, while South Africa has stated that the restriction on British planes appears too rushed.
“There is always the possibility of doing what the UK has done, namely block travel from South Africa and related countries,” Fauci stated in an interview.
“Right now, we’re getting the material together with our South African colleagues to get a situation where you could actually directly test it. So, right now you’re talking about sort of like a red flag that this might be an issue—but we don’t know”.
“That’s certainly something you think about and get prepared to do. You’re prepared to do everything you need to protect the American public. But you want to make sure there’s a basis for doing that,” he added according to Newsmax.
“As soon as we find out more information, we’ll make a decision as quickly as we possibly can. You always put these things on the table, but you don’t want to say you’re going to do it until you have some scientific reason to do it. That’s the reason why we’re rushing now to get that scientific data to try and make an informed decision.” Fauci said according to the Hill.