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No need to introduce lockdown in Russia amid spread of Omicron variant — expert

Alexander Butenko urged citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19

MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. There is no need to introduce a lockdown in Russia amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant, although it will be considered if there is the threat of a new COVID-19 wave, Head of the Department of Arboviruses, Head of the Laboratory of Arbovirus Biology and Detection of the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Butenko said on Tuesday.

"If <…> there will be an obvious threat of [the new COVID-19 wave], only in this case [a lockdown needs to be introduced]. But there is no such need so far," the Russian expert told the Echo of Moscow radio station.

Furthermore, Butenko urged citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Sunday, Head of the Scientific Group for the Development of New Methods for Diagnosing Human Diseases at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of the Russian sanitary watchdog Kamil Khafizov noted that the Omicron variant had not been registered in Russian yet.

The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 was discovered in South Africa last week. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which raise serious concern. Also, the preliminary data showed that Omicron was more transmissible and could lead to outbreaks of the infection with severe consequences.