NEWS of the Omicron variant has sparked renewed calls for another round of stimulus checks.
The variant was flagged in South Africa on November 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported Friday.
The country is currently experiencing a serious increase in Covid cases, most likely due to the B.1.1.529 variant, now called Omicron.
The variant was initially detected in a sample dated November 9, according to WHO.
In the US, President Joe Biden issued a statement Friday in response to the new Covid development: “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 come into effect on November 29. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what science and my medical team advise.
The president also issued a message to those who have delayed the vaccine: “If you haven’t been vaccinated or your children have not been vaccinated, now is the time.”
He also encouraged people to get a booster shot “as soon as you qualify.”
The news comes as New York state declared a precautionary state ahead of the holidays and fears surrounding the Omicron variant.
The implementing decree will enter into force on 3 December.
Read our stimulus checks live blog for the latest updates on Covid-19 aid…
Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “While the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s on its way.”
Asks for extra help
In response to the new variant, some are calling for another round of stimulus checks.
One Twitter user Posted: “Biden should send stimulus checks immediately.”
Another said:: “I am not ready for a new covid variant, but I am interested in a new stimulus check.”
Previously, three stimulus checks were distributed to eligible Americans to help with pandemic-related layoffs and stimulate the economy.
The president has not released a statement about another round of stimulus checks in light of the new variant.
Even as fears grow around the new Covid variant, unemployment claims have fallen to their lowest levels since 1969, leaving many people concerned that the stimulus package may be holding up.
However, some states have proposed legislation that grants additional aid to help people through the holiday season.
Republican lawmakers in Illinois, for example, proposed a $200 stimulus check for Americans earning less than $75,000, and $400 for joint filers earning less than $150,000.
California residents are gearing up to receive another batch of incentive checks next week, worth up to $1,100.
Several other states, including Florida, Maine, and Maryland, have also provided assistance to qualified families.
Certain cities across the country, including Seattle, Chicago and Pittsburgh, have put in place similar plans to help low-income families get through the holiday season.
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