- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Biden to Announce New Steps to Fight Omicron Variant on Tuesday

© REUTERS / CARLO ALLEGRIPeople queue for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test in Times Square during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 13, 2021
People queue for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test in Times Square during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 13, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden on Tuesday will announce new measures to fight the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but his administration does not intend to impose more lockdowns, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

"He will talk about what to expect as we head into the winter months, and detail additional steps that we will be taking", Psaki said during a press briefing on Monday.

Biden has said that so-called fully vaccinated individuals who have also received a booster dose will likely have mild or asymptomatic Omicron cases, Psaki said.

"We continue to see, and our health experts assess that you are 14 times more likely to die of COVID if you have not been vaccinated versus vaccinated. Importantly, he'll restate we're prepared and that fully vaccinated individuals have the tools to protect themselves with a booster shot and masking", she added.

Asked about the possibility of the Biden administration imposing new lockdowns, Psaki said Biden's speech will outline to the American people the benefits of being vaccinated, the upcoming steps to increase testing, and the risks posed to unvaccinated individuals.
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