New Delhi: The brand new coronavirus variant B.1.1529, named as ‘Omicron’ has been designated as a variant of concern by the World Well being Organisation. The variant which was first found in South Africa has been reported to unfold to numerous nations like Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, and Belgium.
The WHO on Friday mentioned that this new variant could also be extra transmissible than different varieties and preliminary proof have recommended that there’s an elevated danger of reinfection.
Many nations have shut their borders for travellers coming from South Africa and inventory markets skilled a downward development.
The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution met as we speak to evaluation what is thought concerning the #COVID19 variant B.1.1.529.
They suggested WHO that it ought to be designated a Variant of Concern.
WHO has named it Omicron, in keeping with naming protocols https://t.co/bSbVas9yds pic.twitter.com/Gev1zIt1Ek
— World Well being Group (WHO) (@WHO) November 26, 2021
Halting of flights
As reported by Reuters, the USA will impose a journey ban from South Africa and neighbouring nations from Monday.
Canada has already put an entry restriction for folks coming from seven nations which embody Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, reported AFP.
India has additionally tightened norms for travellers coming from 12 nations. These nations embody South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong, and the UK. Travellers coming from these nations will bear further measures upon arriving in India together with post-arrival testing for the an infection, as reported by ANI.
A number of different nations like Japan, Israel, Turkey, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates have additionally imposed stricter journey curbs.
A way of panic ran throughout the monetary markets as the brand new variant set its foot. As reported by Reuters the Dow Jones Industrial Common closed down at 2.5 %. It was recorded because the worst day since late October 2020. European shares too had the worst day within the final 17 months.
The oil shares too tumbled by $10 per barrel.
Cruise operators like Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line went down by greater than 10 % every. Shares of plane firms like United Airways, Delta Airways, and American Airways additionally plunged by virtually the identical determine.
Whereas nations are closing their borders, consultants say that it could be too late now for this motion. Ben Cowling, an Epidemiologist from the College of Hong Kong mentioned, “Most likely the virus is already in other places. And so if we shut the door now, it’s going to be probably too late.”
WHO’s emergencies director Mike Ryan additionally mentioned “it’s really important that there are no knee-jerk responses.”
There are consultants who’ve expressed their frustration over closing borders because the announcement of Omicron variant was made. Richard Lessels who’s a South Africa based mostly infectious illness professional mentioned that the main focus ought to be growing the vaccination numbers the place folks haven’t received ample pictures.
“This is why we talked about the risk of vaccine apartheid. This virus can evolve in the absence of adequate levels of vaccination,” he mentioned.
The report acknowledged that based on medical and human rights teams, whereas developed nations have began administering third booster pictures, solely 7 % of the inhabitants within the low revenue nations has been inoculated with first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
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