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Covid: Christmas travel will fuel spread of Omicron, US expert warns

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Dr Fauci (R) said the rapid spread of Omicron could leave US hospitals struggling

Christmas travel will increase the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, even among the fully vaccinated, the top US infectious disease expert says.

“There’s no doubt about this, [Omicron] has an extraordinary capability of spreading,” Dr Anthony Fauci told NBC’s Meet the Press programme on Sunday.

Dr Fauci, who advises the US government on the pandemic, said the variant was now “raging through the world”.

Countries are tightening measures as the heavily mutated variant spreads.

In Europe, France and Germany are among those to issue travel restrictions and the Netherlands has imposed a strict lockdown over Christmas.

Governments are also ramping up their Covid booster vaccination programmes after researchers said the additional shot could provide around 85% protection against severe illness.

On Sunday, Dr Fauci said the rapid spread of Omicron in the US could have a serious impact on health services across the country.

“Our hospitals, if things look like they’re looking now, are going to be very stressed,” he warned.

Dr Fauci said people needed to take precautions such as wearing face masks and social distancing. He also urged more Americans to get their vaccine and booster shots.

Source: BBC

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