- The United States will begin to apply certain restrictions for the Omicron variant.
- President Joe Biden issued a warning after experts raised concerns about the variant.
- The WHO held an extraordinary meeting on Friday to assess the situation.
The United States government announced that starting Monday, November 29, it will place restrictions on travelers from South Africa and seven other countries in the south of the African continent with the appearance of a new variant of the coronavirus baptized as “Omicron”, reported the agency news Efe.
In a statement, the White House announced that the restrictions will include, in addition to South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Eswatini. The government only referred to “restrictions on air traffic,” and did not give more details about what exactly the implications are at the moment, Efe said.
The US will apply Omicron variant restrictions
The president of the United States, Democrat Joe Biden, made this important decision after being suggested by his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, and officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The restrictions will not affect US citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States who are in those countries, although they will have to present a negative Covid-19 test before flying to the United States, the Efe report explained.
Biden issued warning for omicron variant
The White House said taking this measure as “an excess of caution” in the face of all the unknowns that still surround the new Omicron variant. The announcement of the restrictions comes at the same time that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday the new variant of the coronavirus detected in South Africa as a “risk variant” and baptized it with the Greek letter omicrón, Efe mentioned.
In accordance with Newsweek, Biden warned Friday that the new omicron variant “spreads rapidly” and called for fully vaccinated people in the United States to receive the covid vaccine booster to protect themselves from the new strain that was first discovered in South Africa.
Biden’s message about the Omicron variant: “It’s very worrying”
“We don’t know much about the variant, except that it is very worrying. It seems to be spreading rapidly,” Biden told reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on Friday, according to a CBS News report cited by Newsweek. After meeting with Fauci, he reported on air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries starting November 29 to curb the spread of the new variant, but how long the bans would last was not mentioned.
“Take your booster shot now, so you can have this extra protection during the holiday season,” Biden urged fully vaccinated Americans. He also urged adults and children who have not yet received the Covid vaccine to “get vaccinated today.”
Is the Omicron variant more contagious?
According to Efe, WHO experts pointed out that the new variant seems to be more contagious than the previous ones, although there is still no data to determine if it is more or less resistant to vaccines against covid-19. So far, the omicron variant has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong (China) and Belgium.
In addition to the United States, the nations of Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Austria, Canada and Israel have also imposed or announced restrictions on travelers from southern Africa, said the report of the aforementioned information agency.
Biden has a benign but precancerous colon polyp removed
The US president, Joe Biden, had a polyp of about 3 millimeters that was lodged in the colon removed in his last medical examination. According to the president’s doctor, the lesion is benign in appearance, but potentially cancerous, the news agency Efe reported.
The injury was discovered by the medical team during his routine colonoscopy examination last week, according to a report released by the president’s physician, Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor. According to the report it is “a tubular adenoma, which is a benign, slow-growing lesion, but is believed to be precancerous.” No further action is required at this time.
Biden’s polyp is potentially precancerous
The polyp was sent to a laboratory for analysis and “is similar to the polyp that had been removed in 2008,” the White House specialist’s memorandum reads. The medical report also specifies that the US president should undergo a new routine colonoscopy in a period of 7 to 10 years.
Biden briefly transferred his position to Vice President Kamala Harris last Friday so she could undergo a medical examination, making her the first woman to hold presidential power in US history. According to local media, O’Connor said that Biden was “healthy” and “vigorous”, while determining that the president was in a position to fulfill his duty.
What kind of lesion does Biden have?
The lesion, a tubular adenoma, was similar to the one removed in 2008, wrote the president’s physician Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor in a report released Wednesday by the White House. Routine checks are recommended. According to Biden’s doctor the president shows some normal signs of aging, reported The Associated Press.
The Mayo Clinic defines a colon polyp as a small group of cells that forms in the inner wall of the intestine. According to their website most are benign, although some can lead to colon cancer over time. “The best prevention for colon cancer is regular check-ups and removal of polyps,” warns the clinic.
Is it more serious than it appears?
According to the New York Post, Dr. Kevin O’Connor had already published the medical report on the examination that Biden underwent and where he had a colonoscopy with anesthesia that made the president of the United States give power to Kamala Harris for a couple of hours. Although the president’s physician admitted that Biden is “in a position to successfully perform the duties of the presidency,” that did not stop the rising tide of concern.
For months Joe Biden has had a worsening cough caused by gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and a stiffer gait when he walks. Different people have expressed their concern about his health. The little response that was obtained from the president’s personal doctor in the published medical report.
What was in the medical report?
According to the media, on Friday afternoon the six-page report on the physical examination performed on President Biden was made public. It does not highlight any condition that puts his mandate at risk and that would make Harris stay longer in power than the 85 minutes where she was the president of the United States.
Dr. Kevin O’Connor stressed that one of his main goals was to investigate Biden’s cough and his gait, so a full study was carried out. According to the media, the colonoscopy with anesthesia performed on Biden was “reassuring” and did not reveal anything of greater concern.
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