NY Gov Kathy Hochul declares state of emergency amid new COVID variant

‘It’s coming’: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declares state of emergency in response to new Covid variant Omicron: Halts elective surgeries in hospitals with limited capacity as Biden bans travel from eight African countries

  • NY Gov Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a ‘disaster statedue to COVID levels being at a rate not seen in the state since April 2020
  • She stressed that the new variant Omicron has not yet been found in the US, but experts believe it is only a matter of time
  • Hochul announced that hospitals have the option of canceling elective surgeries, if they become dangerously overwhelmed, to free up staff and facilities
  • Her move was in response to the new COVID variant Omicron, which begun in Botswana and is spreading rapidly in South Africa
  • It has now been found in Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium, con circa 100 confirmed cases worldwide
  • Experts do not yet know if Omicron is more transmissible or more dangerous, but they fear it could be more resistant to vaccines or immunity
  • President Joe Biden earlier Friday banned travel from South Africa and seven other countries in the region, following in the footsteps of the UK, Israel and the EU
  • The governor of New York on Friday declared a state of emergency as COVID transmission reached rates not seen since April 2020, while warning that the troubling new variant of COVID that first emerged in Botswana is ‘coming’.

    Venerdì prima, gli Stati Uniti. banned flights from eight Southern African countries to try and prevent the mutant strain, Omicron, from arriving.

    Kathy Hochul, the Empire State governor, said that all non-urgent procedures could be postponed beginning December 3 if the hospital’s capacity falls dangerously low.

    If a hospital finds that it has less than 10 percent of ‘staffed bed capacityfree, then it will be permitted to cancel non-urgent, or elective, procedure, she ruled.

    She also issued a declaration of disaster emergency, noting that COVID transmission is at a level not seen since April 2020. The declaration unlocks sweeping powers for her to take emergency measures, without the usual state congressional approval.

    ‘We continue to see warning signs of spikes in COVID this winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s coming,’ Hochul tweeted.

    Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, on Friday warned the state that the new COVID variant, Omicron, was on its way, twittando: ‘It’s coming’. She issued an executive order allowing hospitals whose bed capacity falls dangerously low to cancel elective operations

    President Joe Biden on Friday banned travel from eight African countries - shaded red in the map. South Africa is the only one to have direct flights to the United States, con 13 una settimana. Now citizens of the eight countries, or anyone who has been there recently, are unable to enter the US

    President Joe Biden on Friday banned travel from eight African countriesshaded red in the map. South Africa is the only one to have direct flights to the United States, con 13 una settimana. Now citizens of the eight countries, or anyone who has been there recently, are unable to enter the US

    A nurse operates a ventilator for a patient with COVID-19 who went into cardiac arrest and was revived by staff at a hospital in Yonkers in April 2020. COVID transmission is now as high as it was then, the NY governor said on Friday

    A nurse operates a ventilator for a patient with COVID-19 who went into cardiac arrest and was revived by staff at a hospital in Yonkers in April 2020. COVID transmission is now as high as it was then, the NY governor said on Friday

    Hours earlier, Presidente Joe Biden confirmed that travel from Sud Africa and seven other countries in the region – Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Nello Swaziland, Mozambique and Malawihad been halted.

    The new variant was first found in Botswana and has since moved to South Africa, where it is spreading rapidly through six provinces.

    It has also been found in Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.

    Hochul’s declaration of a disaster emergency acknowledges that the state is strugglingeven before Omicron possibly hits.

    ‘A disaster has occurred in New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately,’ the declaration states.

    ‘New York is now experiencing COVID-19 transmission at rates the State has not seen since April 2020.

    ‘The rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions has been increasing over the past month to over 300 new admissions a day.

    It means that she can acquire pandemic supplies and enact the emergency hospital plan.

    Hochul’s predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, had declared a disaster emergency on March 7, 2020.

    It ran until June 24 of this year and was ended amid controversy, with Cuomo’s critics saying he had used the emergency powers to consolidate his own personal power and rule in an authoritarian way, bypassing the legislature.

    Cuomo said at the time that the decree could be lifted because of progress made in combatting the pandemic.

    ‘Given New York’s dramatic progress against COVID-19, with the success in vaccination rates, and declining hospitalization and positivity statewide the state of emergency will expire,’ aveva detto.

    Hochul said Friday that the current data is worrying, and again urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated, noting that just under 10 percent of adults in the state had still not received their first jab.

    ‘The vaccine remains one of our greatest weapons in fighting the pandemic, and I encourage every New Yorker to get vaccinated, and get the booster if you’re fully vaccinated,’ lei disse.

    Biden on Friday announced that travel will be banned from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Nello Swaziland, Mozambico, and Malawi.

    NOI. citizens and green card holders will still be able to travel into the U.S. from the banned countries, but no one else will be allowed.

    Biden made the announcement hours after his top COVID expert, Dott. Anthony Fauci, said in an interview that it was too soon to enact such measures.

    The World Health Organization (OMS) named the new variant on Friday and officially categorized it as a strain of concern.

    President Biden spoke with reporters today outside The Nantucket Tap Room where he said he decided on the ban out of an abundance of caution. He is Nantucket celebrating Thanksgiving with his family

    President Biden spoke with reporters today outside The Nantucket Tap Room where he said he decided on the ban out of an abundance of caution. He is Nantucket celebrating Thanksgiving with his family

    FULL BIDEN OMICRON STATEMENT

    This morning I was briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dott. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response team, about the Omicron variant, which is spreading through Southern Africa. As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. These new restrictions will take effect on November 29. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises.

    Per adesso, I have two important messages for the American people, and one for the world community.

    Primo, for those Americans who are fully vaccinated against severe COVID illness – fortunately, for the vast majority of our adultsthe best way to strengthen your protection is to get a booster shot, as soon as you are eligible. Boosters are approved for all adults over 18, six months past their vaccination and are available at 80,000 locations coast-to-coast. They are safe, free, and convenient. Get your booster shot now, so you can have this additional protection during the holiday season.

    Second, for those not yet fully vaccinated: get vaccinated today. This includes both children and adults. America is leading the world in vaccinating children ages 5-11, and has been vaccinating teens for many months now – but we need more Americans in all age groups to get this life-saving protection. If you have not gotten vaccinated, or have not taken your children to get vaccinated, now is the time.

    Finalmente, for the world community: the news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations. The United States has already donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country combined. It is time for other countries to match America’s speed and generosity.

    Inoltre, I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally. I endorsed this position in April; this news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly.

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    Speaking outside the Nantucket Tap Room where he had lunch on Friday afternoon, Biden told reporters that he’d spoken with his team for half an hour on Friday, and that the ban was the result of that meeting.

    ‘We don’t know a lot about the variant except that it is a great concern and seems to spread rapidly,’ Egli ha detto.

    ‘I’ve decided that we’re going to be cautious and make sure there is no travel to and from South Africa and six other countries in that region, except for American citizens who are able to come back.

    ‘I spent about a half hour this morning with my covert team led by Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and so that was the decision we made.

    The U.K. had already halted flights as had some European countries, but Biden said he waited until the medical experts told him he should impose restrictions.

    He also reiterated the need for everyone to get vaccinated and then get booster shots as soon as they can.

    ‘The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations,’ Egli ha detto.

    A reporter asked Biden why the emergency precaution will take effect Monday, rather than immediately.

    ‘Because that was the recommendation coming from my medical team,’ Ha detto Biden.

    ‘Here’s the deal: Every American who has not been vaccinated should be responsible and be vaccinated from age five years and up.

    ‘Everyone eligible for booster shots should get the booster shot immediately upon being eligible.

    ‘That is a minimum that everyone should be doing,’ Egli ha detto.

    Biden ha aggiunto: 'Sai, we always talk about whether this is about freedom. I think it’s a patriotic responsibility.

    Forty percent of the U.S. population remains unvaccinated.

    Both Pfizer and Moderna have already assured that they will be able to update their vaccine technology to tackle Omicron, should it be necessary.

    The panic surrounding the new variant has been sudden and has sent shivers through the stock market: the Dow plummeted by 1,000 points on Friday.

    President Biden said the drop was ‘expectedbut that he is not worried about the markets.

    Additional details on what new restrictions will be imposed on non-US citizens and green card holders are expected to be announced imminently.

    The Biden administration is also in contact with African officials to keep an eye on the situation.

    ‘We are in close contact with the Southern African public health officials and working closely with them to understand more,’ a senior administration official said.

    It comes amid fears of the newly-emerged COVID variant, which scientists fear could be the most infectious strain of the virus to date.

    Earlier Friday morning, White House COVID tsar Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that the U.S. had no immediate plans to restrict travel from South Africa until officials can study the variant moredespite the U.K., Israel and European countries doing so.

    It remains unclear exactly how deadly the latest variant is among unvaccinated people, and American health agencies are yet to make any form of warning about it but there are fears it is more transmissible than any other variant yet and that it may also render some vaccines ineffective.

    South African health officials are trying to calm other countries and have called the sudden panic a ‘storm in a teacup.

    ‘It seems to be spreading at a reasonably rapid rate. We’re finding more about it,’ Ha detto Fauci.

    He added that there is ‘no indicationthe mutation is in the U.S., but that it is possible.

    ‘When you look at a mutation it can give you a hint or prediction that it might evade the immune response you need to get that sequence of the virus, put it in the lab and test the antibodies.

    'Proprio adesso, we’re getting the material together to get a situation where you can directly test it.

    ‘Right now it’s a red flag that it might be an issue but you don’t know.

    ‘Once you test it, you know for sure whether it does or does not evade the antibodies, per esempio, that we make for a vaccine.

    'La risposta è, we don’t know right now but we’re going to find out for sure.

    Why is Omicron so scary?

    Cosa c'è di così preoccupante nella variante?

    Gli esperti affermano che è la "variante peggiore che abbiano mai visto".’ e sono allarmato dal numero di mutazioni che porta.

    La variante - che l'Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità ha chiamato Omicron - ha 32 mutazioni sulla proteina spike, la più registrata e doppia rispetto al ceppo Delta attualmente dominante.

    Gli esperti temono che i cambiamenti potrebbero fare i vaccini 40 percentuale meno efficace nel migliore dei casi.

    Questo perché molte delle modifiche su B.1.1.529 riguardano la proteina spike del virus.

    L'attuale raccolto di vaccini induce il corpo a riconoscere la versione del picco dalle versioni precedenti del virus.

    La variante del Botswana ha in giro 50 mutazioni e altro ancora 30 di loro sono sulla proteina spike. L'attuale raccolto di vaccini induce il corpo a riconoscere la versione della proteina spike dalle versioni precedenti del virus. Ma le mutazioni possono far sembrare la proteina spike così diversa che il sistema immunitario del corpo fa fatica a riconoscerla e a combatterla. E tre delle mutazioni spike (H665Y, N679K, P681H) aiutarlo a entrare più facilmente nelle cellule del corpo. Nel frattempo, manca una proteina di membrana (NSP6) che è stato visto nelle precedenti iterazioni del virus, che secondo gli esperti potrebbe renderlo più contagioso. E ha due mutazioni (R203K e G204R) che sono stati finora presenti in tutte le varianti di preoccupazione e sono stati collegati con l'infettività

    La variante del Botswana ha in giro 50 mutazioni e altro ancora 30 di loro sono sulla proteina spike. L'attuale raccolto di vaccini induce il corpo a riconoscere la versione della proteina spike dalle versioni precedenti del virus. Ma le mutazioni possono far sembrare la proteina spike così diversa che il sistema immunitario del corpo fa fatica a riconoscerla e a combatterla. E tre delle mutazioni spike (H665Y, N679K, P681H) aiutarlo a entrare più facilmente nelle cellule del corpo. Nel frattempo, manca una proteina di membrana (NSP6) che è stato visto nelle precedenti iterazioni del virus, che secondo gli esperti potrebbe renderlo più contagioso. E ha due mutazioni (R203K e G204R) che sono stati finora presenti in tutte le varianti di preoccupazione e sono stati collegati con l'infettività

    Ma poiché la proteina spike ha un aspetto così diverso sul nuovo ceppo, il sistema immunitario del corpo può lottare per riconoscerlo e combatterlo.

    Include anche mutazioni trovate sulla variante Delta che le consentono di diffondersi più facilmente.

    Gli esperti avvertono che non sapranno quanto più contagioso sia il virus per almeno due settimane e potrebbero non conoscerne l'impatto sui ricoveri e sui decessi di Covid per un massimo di sei settimane.

    Quali mutazioni ha la variante?

    La variante del Botswana ha più di 50 mutazioni e altro ancora 30 di loro sono sulla proteina spike.

    Trasporta le mutazioni P681H e N679K che sono "raramente viste insieme".’ e potrebbe renderlo ancora più resistente ai colpi.

    Queste due mutazioni, insieme a H655Y, può anche rendere più facile l'infiltrazione del virus nelle cellule del corpo.

    E la mutazione N501Y potrebbe rendere il ceppo più trasmissibile ed è stata precedentemente vista sul Kent 'Alpha’ variante e Beta tra gli altri.

    Altre due mutazioni (R203K e G204R) potrebbe rendere il virus più contagioso, mentre una mutazione che manca da questa variante (NSP6) potrebbe aumentarne la trasmissibilità.

    Porta anche le mutazioni K417N ed E484A che sono simili a quelle del 'Beta sudafricano’ variante che lo ha reso più in grado di schivare i vaccini.

    Ma ha anche l'N440K, trovato su Delta, e S477N, sulla variante di New York - che è stata collegata a un'ondata di casi nello stato a marzo - che è stata collegata alla fuga di anticorpi.

    Altre mutazioni che ha includono G446S, T478K, Q493K, G496S, Q498R e Y505H, anche se il loro significato non è ancora chiaro.

    È una variante di preoccupazione?

    L'Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità ha classificato il virus come una "variante preoccupante", l'etichetta data ai ceppi a più alto rischio.

    Ciò significa che gli esperti dell'OMS hanno concluso che le sue mutazioni gli consentono di diffondersi più velocemente, causare malattie più gravi o ostacolare la protezione dai vaccini.

    Where has the variant been detected so far?

    The variant has so far been spotted in five nations: Sud Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.

    Most cases have been spotted in Gauteng, a province in north east South Africa where Johannesburg is based.

    The first case was uploaded to international variant database GISAID by Hong Kong and was spotted in someone who travelled to the country from South Africa.

    No cases have been seen in the UK. But scientists do not sequence every positive Covid sample in the UK and not everyone who catches the virus will take a test.

    This means there could be people infected with the variant in Britain.

    What is the UK doing about the variant?

    The Health Secretary announced last night six countries would be added to the red list from midday on Friday November 26.

    The red-listed countries are: Sud Africa, Botswana, Nello Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This means all direct flights from these countries to the UK are banned.

    Anyone arriving in England between midday today and 4am on Sunday from these countries — or who has been in the countries in the 10 previous days — must complete a passenger locator form, quarantine at home and should take a PCR test.

    Anyone arriving from these countries after 4am on Sunday must stay in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days and take a Covid test on or before the second day of their stay, as well as another test on or after day eight.

    And the UK Health Security Agency classified B.1.1.529 as a Variant Under Investigation, which means it has worrying mutations.

    Experts will now conduct a risk assessment and may increase its ranking to Variant of Concern if it is confirmed to be more infectious, cause more severe illness or make vaccines and medicines less effective.

    Dove è emerso per la prima volta B.1.1.529?

    Il primo caso è stato caricato nel database internazionale delle varianti GISAID da Hong Kong a novembre 23. La persona che trasportava la nuova variante stava viaggiando nel paese dal Sud Africa.

    Il Regno Unito è stato il primo paese a identificare che il virus potrebbe essere una minaccia e ha allertato altre nazioni.

    Da allora, 77 cases have been confirmed in South Africa, two in Hong Kong and three in Botswana.

    Health chiefs in Israel today announced it had one confirmed and two suspected B.1.1.529 cases, while there are two suspected cases in Belgium.

    Gli esperti ritengono che il ceppo possa aver avuto origine in Botswana, ma l'Africa continentale non sequenzia molti campioni positivi, quindi potrebbe non essere mai noto dove sia emersa per la prima volta la variante.

    Professor Francois Balloux, un genetista all'University College di Londra, ha detto a MailOnline che il virus è probabilmente emerso in un'infezione persistente in un paziente immunocompromesso, forse qualcuno con l'AIDS non diagnosticato.

    Nei pazienti con sistema immunitario indebolito le infezioni possono persistere per mesi perché il corpo non è in grado di combatterle. Questo dà al virus il tempo di acquisire mutazioni che gli consentono di aggirare le difese del corpo.

    Sarò protetto se ho un booster?

    Gli scienziati hanno avvertito che il nuovo ceppo potrebbe produrre vaccini contro il Covid 40 per cent less effective.

    Ma hanno detto che l'emergere della variante mutante rende ancora più importante ottenere un colpo di richiamo nel momento in cui le persone diventano idonee per uno.

    I vaccini attivano anticorpi neutralizzanti, che è la migliore protezione disponibile contro la nuova variante. Quindi più di questi anticorpi una persona ha, meglio è, hanno detto gli esperti.

    Segretario alla Salute della Gran Bretagna, Sajid Javid, disse: “Il booster jab era già importante prima che conoscessimo questa variante, ma ora, non potrebbe essere più importante.’

    Quando sapremo di più sulla variante?

    Mancano ancora settimane ai dati su quanto sia trasmissibile la nuova variante e il suo effetto su ricoveri e decessi.

    Il Regno Unito ha offerto aiuto al Sudafrica, dove si concentra la maggior parte dei casi, per raccogliere queste informazioni e credere che sapranno di più sulla trasmissibilità in due o tre settimane.

    Ma potrebbero volerci dalle quattro alle sei settimane prima che sappiano di più su ricoveri e decessi.

    Come si chiama la variante?

    Il ceppo è stato scientificamente denominato B.1.1.529 a novembre 24, un giorno dopo essere stato avvistato a Hong Kong.

    Le varianti a cui è stato assegnato un nome ufficiale finora includono Alpha, Beta, Delta e Gamma.

    Esperti presso l'Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità a novembre 26 denominata la variante Omicron.

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    Dr Anthony Fauci said Friday there is not enough evidence about the South African variant to halt flights to the US despite the UK, Israel and Germany all suspending travel because of it

    Dr Anthony Fauci said Friday there is not enough evidence about the South African variant to halt flights to the US despite the UK, Israel and Germany all suspending travel because of it

    The variant, though still largely a mystery to scientists, has already sent shivers through the U.S. markets.

    Dow futures fell 2.25 per cento, and both the NASDAQ and S&P Futures Indices were down by more than 1 per cento.

    The price of Brent Crude, the market of the global price of oil, fell by six per cent.

    The variant, B.1.1.529, is believed to have emerged in Botswanafrom where there are no direct flights to the U.S. – and is also being found in neighboring South Africa.

    Hong Kong reported a case after a passenger who had recently traveled from South Africa was found to be infected with the variant, and then infected another person while in the same hotel, quarantining.

    Israel has also identified a case ‘in a person who returned from Malawi,’ with ‘two more cases of people returning from abroadplaced in quarantine, the country’s health ministry said Friday.

    Dott. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, said initial data from the variant was worrying and border restrictions should be imposed.

    ‘Looks like vaccine evasion could be real with this variant,’ ha twittato, pointing out that the two patients in Hong Kong who had the variant were both doubled-jabbed with the Pfizer vaccine.

    One of the two had recently been in Southern Africa. That person then passed it on to a second person, quarantining in the same hotel.

    The only direct flight from South Africa to America is scheduled to land at Newark on Saturday. There were none today but United operates a nightly flight ordinarily from Johannesburg to Newark, con intorno 250 persone a bordo. There are other flights that will land in the US having originated in South Africa, but that have gone through Doha first. Some that were scheduled to stop in Europe have been canceled

    The only direct flight from South Africa to America is scheduled to land at Newark on Saturday. There were none today but United operates a nightly flight ordinarily from Johannesburg to Newark, con intorno 250 persone a bordo. There are other flights that will land in the US having originated in South Africa, but that have gone through Doha first. Some that were scheduled to stop in Europe have been canceled

    EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today called for all flights to be halted until more is known about the variant.

    EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today called for all flights to be halted until more is known about the variant.

    The Dow tumbled on Friday morning as did the Nasdaq and the price of Brent Crudethe global marker for oil- also sank while Europe and the UK panicked over the new strain. The Dow sank more than 1000 points on Friday

    ‘It’s very airborne,’ Feigl-Ding said. ‘The hotel guests were in different room across the hallway from each other. Environmental samples found the virus in 25 di 87 swabs across both rooms.

    Ha aggiunto: ‘I think border and travel restrictions make sense. Especially since Hong Kong only caught the case because of a mandatory hotel quarantine. Which countries in the west still have that??? Almost none.

    Botswana has four confirmed cases, Sud Africa 77 – with the real figure likely in the hundredsand Hong Kong has two, significato 83 cases of the variant are confirmed so far.

    But South African scientists tried to backpedal on Friday, saying it was ‘likelythat vaccines still offered ‘high levels of protectionagainst hospitalizations and deaths from the variant.

    The CDC page asks anyone traveling to and from South Africa to be fully vaccinated, or for those who are not to be tested for COVID.

    It also recommends travelers follow measures in-place in South Africa, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

    South Africa’s infection rate spiked 93 per cent in a day on Thursday amid fears the strain is driving the surge.

    Local scientists say it has likely spread to all the country’s nine provinces, but there is yet to be a surge in hospitalizations in the epicenter, Johannesburg.

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