US President says Omicron lockdowns not needed ‘for now’

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Washington: US President Joe Biden has called the Omicron Covid variant a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic” one day after it was detected in North America.

He said he saw no need for a lockdown “for now”, adding, “if people are vaccinated and wear their masks”.

Cases have been found in Canada, and the US has imposed travel bans on eight African countries.

Despite vaccines and Biden’s vow to “shut down” the virus, more Americans died this year from Covid than last.

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