In the United States, two more Omicron infections were added, bringing the number to three. President Joe Biden has issued enhanced quarantine guidelines to combat the new mutant virus and the winter COVID-19. It has made it clear that it will focus on boosting vaccinations and strengthen diagnostic testing, and will not impose entry bans or lockdown measures. In the European Union, more than half of the countries have confirmed cases of Omicron.
Correspondent Jong-Joo Lim in Washington reports.
The second U.S. case of Omicron is in north-central Minnesota.
It’s only been one day since it was first confirmed in Western California.
[젠 사키/미국 백악관 대변인 : 감염자는 백신을 맞은 상태였고 11월 22일에 경미한 증상을 보여 24일에 검사 받았습니다. 증상은 사라졌습니다.]
The infected person is an adult male who has recently visited New York.
As detailed tests are underway across the United States, the number of confirmed cases is expected to rise.
President Biden visited the National Institutes of Health and announced tougher winter quarantine measures.
[조 바이든/미국 대통령 : 미국 전역에 수백 곳의 접종소를 운영할 것입니다. 온 가족을 위한 원스톱 백신 접종을 제공할 것입니다.]
We also decided to support free self-tests for people without insurance.
Passengers bound for the United States will be required to test for coronavirus and submit negative proof 24 hours before boarding the flight.
The focus has been on strengthening vaccination and testing rather than containment or quarantine.
[조 바이든/미국 대통령 : 폐쇄나 봉쇄는 대책에 포함되지 않습니다. 광범위한 백신 추가 접종과 검사가 더 많이 포함됩니다.]
In Europe, a total of 79 omicrons were confirmed in 15 countries, more than half of the 27 EU countries.
If you include countries that are not part of the European Union, such as the UK and Switzerland, the number is even higher.
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention says Omicron could account for more than half of new infections within a few months.
Researchers in South Africa found that Omicron is reinfecting people three times faster than conventional beta or delta mutations.
However, he said there is no data available to evaluate whether Omicron evades the effectiveness of the vaccine.