The US government’s chief epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, said Sunday that he expects the United States to review travel restrictions from South Africa and other African countries within a “reasonable period of time.”
The travel ban imposed by Washington a week ago was heavily criticized, even by the World Health Organization, for “punishing” those countries after the discovery of the new alternative to COVID-19, Micron.
Fauci acknowledged in an interview with CNN that this action was taken to “buy time” at a time when few details of the alternative were known.
“We hope that we can lift this travel ban in a reasonable time,” the epidemiologist added.
Since those restrictions went into effect, Omicron infections have been reported in the country in at least five states.
Washington’s ban affects travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
Fauci noted that the US authorities are analyzing the evolution of this variant “very carefully every day” and stressed that it is still too early to determine the degree of its aggressiveness.
In the United States, the country worst affected by the epidemic with more than 788,000 deaths, nearly 60% of the population received the full vaccination series and 22% also received a booster dose.