Christmas travel will drive the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. advisor during the pandemic, said. The expert also asserted the strain is currently on a skyrocketing rise, even among those fully inoculated.
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Christmas Travel Spread
Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, “There's no doubt about this, [Omicron] has an extraordinary capability of spreading,” and added that the variant is currently “raging through the world.”
In this outlook, countries are bolstering measures given the several Omicron mutations identified by experts.
Fauci urged, “Our hospitals, if things look like they're looking now, are going to be very stressed,” while he emphasized that the spread becoming dominant in the U.S. —a likely situation— could have a hard impact on the healthcare system.
In this regard, he pushed for more people to get vaccinated: “The difference between a vaccinated and boosted person who has an infection, and someone who has an infection who has never been vaccinated —it's a major difference with regard to the risk of severity.”
The previous Friday, Fauci also underlined at a press briefing at the White House, “We are looking over our shoulder at an oncoming Omicron surge… The fully vaccinated are doing much better... the optimum protection is fully vaccinated plus a boost.”
With a likely increase in Christmas travel, there is worldwide concern about the spread of Omicron. Germany and France have issued travel restrictions within Europe with the U.K. included, given the outburst in the latter
The Netherlands has announced a severe lockdown during the Christmas period to contain the strain, as reported by the BBC.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Saturday during a press conference, “I stand here tonight in a somber mood. And a lot of people watching will feel that way too… To sum it up in one sentence, the Netherlands will go back into lockdown from tomorrow.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 73% of the people in the U.S. have received at least one Covid shot, while nearly 30% have received a booster shot.
Reuters reported that President Joe Biden "plans to give a speech on Tuesday about the rising COVID-19 cases, hammering home his message to unvaccinated Americans to get a shot and for those who are vaccinated to get a booster.”