Washington, Jan 21 (EFE).- United States president Joe Biden is on Tuesday to announce new measures to tackle the Omicron variant of coronavirus, including the mobilization of military and federal agents to support hospitals and the distribution of 500 million free home-testing kits.
Biden will also expand vaccination centers to encourage further jab uptake to tackle the spread of the highly contagious variant, according to a source from the White House administration, who spoke with reporters on the condition of anonymity ahead of the presidential announcement.
Biden has instructed defense secretary Lloyd Austin to prepare 1,000 military agents, including medics, nurses and paramedics for deployment should the situation require such a move during the months of January and February, the spokesman said.
Federal medical staff will also be at hand to shore up support for hospitals in the event that a Covid-19 surge, fueled by Omicron, overwhelms the system.
Six teams comprising more than 100 medical professionals are to be deployed to Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Biden is to announce a plan to distribute some 500 million Covid tests to American households from January next year, which citizens can order online.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Omicron is already the dominant variant of coronavirus in the US, where between December 12-18 it accounted for 73.2% of new cases.EFE