Travellers queue at a check-in counter at OR Tambo Worldwide Airport in Johannesburg after a number of nations banned flights from South Africa. AFP

WASHINGTON: The US on Wednesday introduced its first confirmed case of the Covid-19 Omicron variant had been detected in California, in a completely vaccinated traveller who had lately returned from South Africa and was recovering from delicate signs.

High well being official Anthony Fauci stated authorities “knew it was only a matter of time” earlier than the pressure was discovered within the nation, reminding People that vaccination, boosters and masking in indoor public settings remained the easiest way to remain protected.

In line with an announcement by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), the particular person returned from South Africa on November 22, and their shut contacts have all examined adverse.

Chatting with reporters, Fauci added that the affected person examined optimistic on November 29 and that that they had not acquired a booster, to the perfect of his data.

Some early press reviews concerning the Omicron variant have urged it would confer extra delicate sickness, however Fauci cautioned studying an excessive amount of into these till extra onerous information was obtainable.

“We really feel good that this affected person not solely had delicate signs, however truly the signs seem like bettering,” he stated.

“However as we stated, there’s loads of info that’s now evolving out of nations like South Africa which have a a lot bigger variety of people” with the variant, he added.

Such information ought to comply with within the coming weeks and months.

Whereas the particular person concerned was absolutely vaccinated, Fauci pressured a Covid booster remained a good suggestion as a result of it raises the variety of total antibodies in an individual’s immune system, a few of which can stay efficient at stopping new variants.

“Our expertise with variants such because the Delta variant, is that despite the fact that the vaccine is not particularly focused to the Delta variant, whenever you get a excessive sufficient stage of an immune response, you get spillover safety,” he stated.

Fauci additionally defended the journey ban the US had positioned on southern African nations, which UN chief Antonio Guterres has slammed as “unfair” and “ineffective.”

“We wanted to purchase a while to have the ability to put together, perceive what is going on on,” he stated.

“We wished to be sure that we did not unexpectedly say it is like anything, don’t fret about it, after which unexpectedly, one thing unfolds in entrance of you that you simply’re actually not ready for. So we have a look at this as a short lived measure.”

To organize for Omicron, the US is planning more durable testing and weighing quarantine necessities for worldwide travellers arriving within the nation, together with taking a Covid-19 check sooner or later previous to departure, the CDC stated Wednesday.

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