COVID-19

Travel Uncertainty Returns with Omicron Variant

Nearly two years after the coronavirus was first reported in China, a new variant discovered by scientists in South Africa has led to a fresh round of travel restrictions affecting millions around the world. VOA’s Saqib Ul Islam reports on the hurdles travelers are again facing, and the controversy over …

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German Minister Warns Omicron Could Make Bad Situation Worse 

Top German health officials Friday warned that the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was likely to worsen the fourth wave of infections the nation is facing and was threatening to overwhelm the health care system.  German Health Minister Jens Spahn and Lothar Wieler, president of the  Robert Koch …

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Fauci: About Two-Week Wait Before Omicron Threat Is Known

White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci said Friday it should be about two weeks before scientists fully understand how transmissible and severe the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 truly is, and until then, people need to get vaccinations and booster shots.  During a briefing by the …

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Zimbabwe Confirms Omicron Case, Sticks to Tough Restrictions

Zimbabwe’s government, which has confirmed the presence of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in the country, has ruled out easing its new tough restrictions on visitors and returning citizens as it tries to contain the new variant. The country’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga – who is also the country’s health minister – said in a message broadcast on national television Thursday night that Zimbabwe had a confirmed case of the omicron variant and was conducting genomic …

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WHO Urges Western Pacific Region to Prepare for Omicron Surge

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) director for the Western Pacific said Friday the region must prepare for the new omicron variant of the coronavirus because it appears to be spreading rapidly around the world. At a virtual news conference in Manilla, WHO Regional Director Takeshi Kasai told reporters, while most …

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South Africa Urges Vaccine Use as Omicron Spreads

Coronavirus cases have risen rising dramatically in South Africa since the discovery of the omicron variant. Government and other entities are scrambling to vaccinate more people to avoid severe cases. Vaccines can’t guarantee you won’t be infected by the coronavirus, but they can save your life. That was the message South Africa’s health minister …

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Africa CDC Calls for Calm Amid Surge in COVID Infections

Concerns about the omicron COVID-19 variant are growing in Africa but health experts say vaccination can help reduce infections in the population. This week has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in Africa due to the new omicron variant. The continent reported 52,000 cases for the week, and 31,000 were …

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New Zealand Introduces New COVID-19 Management System

New Zealand will adopt what is being called a “traffic light” system to curb the spread of COVID-19 and limit the use of lockdowns. New Zealand’s planned traffic light system has red, amber and green categories, and gives more freedoms to the fully vaccinated. The biggest city, Auckland, is a …

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Multiple Cases of Omicron Variant Detected In New York City

Multiple cases of the omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in New York, health officials said Thursday, including a man who attended an anime convention in Manhattan in late November and tested positive for the variant when he returned home to Minnesota. In addition to the conventioneer, tests showed five …

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