It was only two days ago when a group of researchers from Great Britain reported the appearance of a new variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus which allegedly emerged in Botswana, south of Africa. The information, released by the British tabloid “Daily Mail”, detailed that ten positive cases were detected by the new version of Covid-19; the Omicron variant, which was initially identified as B.1.1.529.
This Thursday, November 25, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus Covid-19 It had already been detected in at least three countries, so it has already started to spread in various parts of the world. The Omicron variant was first detected on November 11 in Botswana, where three cases had already been sequenced and only days later seven more cases were confirmed, six in South Africa and one in Hong Kong, present in a traveler returning from the African country.
WHO names new coronavirus variant Omicron
Today Friday the World Health Organization (who) reported that it assigned to this new variant of Covid-19 the name of the greek letter Omicron; The health agency described this new variant as “worrying”, identified as responsible for a strong rebound in infections in South Africa.
After a meeting of emergency carried out this Friday, in which a group of experts were summoned to evaluate the strain B.1.1.529 of the Covid-19, the WHO reported in a statement that “preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, compared to the previous ones ”.
The experts alerted the international community that the appearance of this variant, which was confirmed in a specimen collected on November 9, coincided with a sharp increase in infections in South Africa.
They begin to restrict flights from South Africa and other countries
The appearance of this new variant of coronavirus shook the financial markets yesterday, led to the collapse of the prices of the Petroleum and led to the ban on travel to some countries in Africa; this Friday it was reported that hundreds of passengers who had just arrived from South Africa were being held at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, waiting to be tested to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands has become one of the last countries in the European Union in banning travelers from South Africa, as well as other southern African nations, due to concerns about the rapid spread of the new variant of coronavirus; the Omicron.
Information agencies reported the arrival this Friday of two flights from Cape Town and JohannesburgTherefore, after landing, the passengers had to stay on board the plane while the authorities of the terminal aerial located a distant and safe place in the airport where to perform the tests. “Around 2:30 pm local time, the passengers were taken to this place where they are now waiting to be evaluated,” a terminal spokesperson told “CNN”.
Authorities of the United Kingdom They have taken measures before the emergence of the new variant in order to avoid the increase in infections and the spread of the virus. So far no case has been detected in that country, however, the Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, reported that the flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Financial markets and oil prices collapse due to a new variant
This Friday, November 26, financial marketss of the world suffered the effects of the appearance of the new variant Omicron of the coronavirus; this morning the futures of Dow Jones they plummeted and oil fell 5%. Asian stocks were the ones that marked the way forward during the day.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) of Hong Kong fell by 2.7%, while the Nikkei 225 (N225) of Japan was down 2.5%, while European markets also fell during the open, with major indices such as the FTSE 100, France’s CAC40 and France’s DAX. Germany, all with a drop of around 3%.
Regarding the markets of USA, which closed for Thanksgiving this Thursday, suffered a strong impact from before the start of today’s session; the futures the Dow (INDU) fell around 700 points, down 2%. The futures of S&P 500 (INX) and Nasdaq (COMP) fell 1.6% and 1%, respectively. Meanwhile he crude The US sank 5% to $ 74 per barrel; Brent crude, the world’s benchmark oil index, fell 4.3 percent today.
WHO works on the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicrón
World Health Organization (who) announced this Thursday that experts are meeting to understand more about the new variant of the coronavirus, as reported by Maria Van Kerkhove, technical leader of the agency for the Covid-19. Van Kerkhove stated that the variant was detected and reported to the who by South African colleagues and there are less than 100 sequences genomics available to her.
“We still don’t know much about this. What we do know is that this variant has a lot of mutations“, said. “And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus“reported Van Kerkhove, adding that researchers are working to understand where the mutations are and what they might mean for the diagnosis, treatment and vaccines.
“What we need people to understand, who is watching us, who is reading those news articles: this kind of variants that are detected, it is good that they are detected. It means that we have an established system ”, he indicated, and thanked his colleagues south africans for doing “amazing” genomic sequencing and research.
Maria Van Kerkhove also reported that they are planning to do studies of neutralization to understand the impact that this can have variant. “Right now, it’s a variant of what we have, it’s under supervision. The working group on the evolution of the virus, or TAG VE, will discuss whether it will become a variant of interest or a variant of concern, “he said yesterday.
Covid-19: Variant B.1.1.529 is detected in 3 countries; everything that is known about the deadly strain
Covid-19 hits Europe again: INTERACTIVE MAP of the countries that return to confinement
United Kingdom to veto flights from six countries in Africa for new variant of Covid-19