Omicron variant spreads across several US states

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Ten new cases have been reported.

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Covid-19 variantEdward Jenner/Pexels

The Omicron variant first detected in South Africa- which scientists had warned was highly transmissible- has spread to several U.S. states.

So far, there have been ten reported cases nationwide. The state of New York has recently confirmed five cases.

Other states where the Omicron variant has been detected are California, Colorado, Minnesota and Hawaii. Patients affected by the virus were fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms, except for the person in Hawaii who was unvaccinated.

To curb the spread of omicron, president Joe Biden has announced on Thursday about the new testing requirements for international travelers. He also stated that Americans would soon have access to free and rapid Covid-19 tests.

Meanwhile, scientists are investigating Omicron to determine its transmissibility and see if it has the potential to cause severe disease and how effective vaccines are in working against it. Compared to 64 percent of people vaccinated in North America, only about 10 percent of people in Africa have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

President Joe Biden has pledged to ship more than 200 million vaccines abroad in 100 days. On Friday, his administration announced that it would soon be sending 9 million doses to Africa.

As Zients said: "That's more doses donated by the U.S. in a single day than what all but seven other countries have donated in total since the start of this pandemic."

In total, the U.S. has shipped 291 million doses to 110 countries as part of Biden's pledge to donate a vaccine to the countries that need it the most.

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