AS WHO says OMICRON is ‘not a cause for panic’, POTUS Joe Biden urges people to get vaccinated against Covid -19 amid global concern over the new strain and reminded them citing the WHO Chief saying the variant poses ‘very high risk. Speaking at the White House on Monday, Biden said top United States health officials are consulting with leading vaccine makers and preparing for possible updates to account for Omicron’s mutations. He said he saw no need for a lockdown “for now”, adding, “if people are vaccinated and wear their masks”. Cases have been found in Canada, and the US has imposed travel bans on eight African countries. The United States is making contingency plans with pharmaceutical companies if new vaccines are needed, ALJAZEERA reported quoting POTUS.US was in a good position to control Omicron’s potential spread without having to resort to lockdowns or more travel bans for now – beyond restrictions already imposed on eight southern African countries. This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic, If you are vaccinated, but still worried about the new variant, Biden added. Meanwhile, India has cleared all orders to support the African nations affected by OMICRON, the latest coronavirus variant, by supplies of Made-in-India vaccines. Making the announcement, the Ministry of External Affairs says India also stands ready to supply essential life-saving drugs, test kits, gloves, PPE kits and medical equipment such as ventilators, as may be required. Indian institutions would favourably consider cooperation in genomic surveillance and virus characterization-related research work with their African counterparts. COVISHIELD vaccines including to African countries like Malawi, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea and Lesotho. Supplies of COVAXIN to Botswana have been allowed. Any new requirement projected either bilaterally or through COVAX will be considered expeditiously. Edited by PK Chakravarty. Image courtesy to Newsweek.
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