What you should know
- Despite growing global concerns regarding the recently discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Mayor-elect Eric Adams still plans to visit Ghana, confirmed his spokesman, Evan Thies.
- The variant known scientifically as B.1.1.529 was little known to the public until November 24, when South African officials reported it to the World Health Organization (WHO). It took the organization just two days to substantially raise its profile and status.
- The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is cause for concern and there is now an official advisory on masks from the New York City health commissioner.
NEW YORK – Despite growing global concerns related to the recently discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Mayor-elect Eric Adams still plans to visit Ghana, confirmed his spokesman, Evan Thies.
“I promised myself that I would visit Ghana after the 400th anniversary of slavery in America and the elections, to show how far we have come and to remember how far we still have to go,” says Adams’ statement in part. “This election for me was, among other things, to reestablish a negative narrative so that we can have a more just and united future. I will continue to be in contact with the transition team on our progress towards January 1 and with the Mayor on urgent matters. , including Ómicron, while in Ghana. “
Although not much is known about the so-called Omicron strain, New York City and state leaders say they are “closely monitoring” the newly identified variant of the coronavirus and no cases of the newly identified variant have been detected in New York or in the rest of the United States for now.
Flights from South Africa and seven other southern African countries to John F. Kennedy International Airport were filled with only US citizens on Monday, as the country’s travel ban aimed at slowing the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 enters. in force.
It’s not yet clear exactly how big the danger the Omicron variant poses to New Yorkers, vaccinated or not, but Gov. Kathy Hochul encouraged everyone to double down on precautionary measures: wear masks, wash hands and get vaccinated.
“The vaccine also remains one of our best weapons in the fight against the pandemic, and this news further emphasizes the need for each of us to be vaccinated and boosted if fully vaccinated,” said Hochul.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 appears to be more infectious than the delta variant, and the large number of mutations in Omicron means that all vaccines may be less effective, Moderna’s CEO said Monday.
The variant known scientifically as B.1.1.529 was little known to the public until November 24, when South African officials reported it to the World Health Organization (WHO). It took the organization just two days to substantially raise its profile and status.
“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are worrisome. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, compared to other” worrisome variants, the organization said in a statement Friday.
“(This) variant has been detected at a faster rate than previous infection surges, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.”
As of the morning of November 29, the variant has been detected in at least 15 countries on five continents, including Canada. (The Dutch state broadcaster NOS reported that among 600 passengers on two quarantined flights from South Africa, 10% tested positive for some version of the coronavirus.)
Media reports indicated that several of the confirmed cases were in vaccinated people, although South African doctors noted that the vast majority of those infected were not vaccinated.
“What we’re saying is that when you’re indoors, regardless of vaccination status, everyone should wear a mask,” City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said Monday during Mayor Bill’s press conference. de Blasio.
“When it comes to COVID, I have said time and again that I will follow science and our public health professionals as a leader, and at this time travel is prohibited only to southern African counties as a precaution,” Adams said. The statement went on to say, “If the federal government changes its guidance on travel, I will follow it immediately. In the meantime, New Yorkers must remain vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID, including the use of masks and vaccines and booster doses.”