PE Ledger

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Before restricting travel, the US needs more data on the Covid variant, according to a top scientist

According to CNN’s Anthony Fauci, “You want to make sure there’s a foundation for doing that because there’s always the chance” of banning airplanes. And that’s exactly what we’re doing now.”


Senior US government scientist Anthony Fauci said Friday that before joining other countries in barring flights from the region, Washington needed more information on a concerning new Covid-19 type discovered in southern Africa.

While Fauci told CNN that “You want to make sure there’s a reason for doing that because there’s always the chance” of stopping planes. And that’s exactly what we’re doing now.”

He stated that there was “no indication” that the newly detected Covid-19 strain had made its way to the United States.

The advent of the new variety, which was originally detected in South Africa, has prompted nations to assess the threat.

Flights from South Africa and neighbouring countries have been halted in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, while Japan will compel tourists from the region to quarantine for ten days.

Fears that the variety might derail worldwide attempts to control the Covid-19 pandemic, wreaking havoc on already vulnerable countries, drove equities falling on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down almost 1,000 points by midday.

Scientists are racing to assess the extensively mutated strain, which has been given the scientific designation B.1.1.529 for now, for concern that it would prove more infectious than the highly contagious Delta and resistant to vaccines.

“As soon as we get additional facts, we’ll make a decision as soon as we can,” said Fauci, who is also President Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser.

“You shouldn’t say you’re going to do it until you have a scientific reason to. That is why we are rushing to get scientific evidence right now.”

The travel prohibitions were criticized as premature by some in South Africa, who claimed that the country was being penalized for its openness about the new strain.

The World Health Organization has stated that understanding the variety could take weeks and has advised against imposing travel restrictions while scientific proof is still lacking.

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