Due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the United States is preparing for many new infections and unvaccinated people who are expected to end up in hospital.
Testing, vaccination and hospital capacity is being expanded, the White House reports ahead of President Joe Biden’s corona policy speech.
Of all new infections, omicron is involved in almost three-quarters of the cases. Far-reaching measures such as lockdowns are not yet on the table. Biden is not expected to announce any restrictions on daily life. According to the White House, Omicron should be taken seriously, but the variant is not a reason for panic.
Thousands of doctors, nurses and army medical personnel are being mobilized for deployment in the country in January and February if necessary. Medical devices and protective equipment are also being prepared to be delivered quickly to hospitals. Hospitals also receive assistance in scaling up capacity.
More places will be vaccinated. About 73 percent of the population has already been fully vaccinated, and approximately 1 million booster shots are given every day. There will also be new test locations so that more people can be tested for the coronavirus. In addition, 500 million rapid tests for home use are also being purchased. Americans can order these for free from January.
In addition, because of the omicron variant, the US will give another 580 million dollars (514 million euros) to international organizations for the fight against corona, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken reports. The rapid spread of omicron confirms, according to Blinken, that more needs to be done to end the pandemic and that “none of us is safe until we are all safe”.