3rd December, 2021
Five cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant have been detected in New York City, Gov. Kathy Hochul, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio, has announced.
Hochul said there are now a total of five confirmed cases in the state including one in Brooklyn, two in Queens and one in Long Island’s Suffolk County.
The Long Island patient, a 67-year-old woman, had recently returned from South Africa, Hochul said.
“Let me be clear: This is not cause for alarm. We knew this variant was coming and we have the tools to stop the spread”, Hochul said on Twitter.
“Get your vaccine. Get your booster. Wear your mask”, she added.
The United States has imposed travel ban on eight nations in southern Africa after cases of the variant were reported in the region.
The U.S. has now recorded eight cases of the Omicron variant.Officials in New York however believe the cases will be more.
On Thursday President Joe Biden laid out his strategy to fight the highly contagious Omicron, with winter approaching and hours after the first known U.S. case of community transmission of the variant was reported.
With authorities around the world scrambling to contain Omicron, Biden warned in no uncertain terms that infections will rise this winter.
“We’re going to fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion,” he said, speaking at the National Institutes of Health medical research facility in Maryland.
So far four U.S. states have found Omicron cases — California, Colorado and Minnesota and now New York.
In the cases in the first three state, the patients were fully vaccinated and developed mild symptoms.
In California and Colorado, the patients had recently returned from trips to southern Africa and had not gotten booster doses.
The case in Minnesota is the first known community transmission within the United States.
The patient had recently travelled to New York City for an anime convention, prompting the city to launch contact tracing to try to contain the spread.
“We are aware of a case of the Omicron variant identified in Minnesota that is associated with travel to a conference in New York City, and we should assume there is community spread of the variant in our city,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.