NEW VARIANT OF COVID-19 SPARKS GLOBAL ATTENTION AGAIN

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a novel COVID-19 variation discovered in South Africa with a high number of mutations has been recognised as “of concern,” making it the fifth variant to get the classification.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a statement that the Greek Letter Omicron has been allocated to the B.1.1.529 variant.

Europe was forced to ban travel to and from southern Africa after the discovery of a new coronavirus type on Friday, and financial markets on both sides of the Atlantic saw their largest drops in more than a year as a result.

However, it might take several weeks for experts to completely comprehend the alterations in the variety. Health officials are attempting to understand if omicron is more transmissible or infectious than other versions of the virus, as well as whether vaccinations against it are effective.

After the United Kingdom halted flights from South Africa — where the new mutation was identified — and neighbouring nations and requested travellers returning from there to report to quarantine, the European Union said that it would likewise halt travel from those countries.

“The presence of this novel COVID-19 viral strain is quite concerning. To our knowledge, it is the most severely mutated variant of the virus we have seen so far “Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the Warwick University in the United Kingdom, shared his thoughts.

According to the researchers, some of the mutations that are comparable to those we’ve seen in other variations of concern are related with increased transmissibility as well as partial resistance to immunity established by vaccination or spontaneous infection.”

These concerns wreaked havoc on financial markets, particularly on stocks of airlines and other companies in the travel industry, as well as on oil, which fell by roughly $10 a barrel.

“It’s critical that there are no knee-jerk reactions here,” said Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergency director, praising South Africa’s public health institutions for identifying the new variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. “It’s really important that there are no knee-jerk reactions here,” Ryan added.

The reason for this is because, as we’ve seen in the past, the minute there is even the slightest hint of any type of diversity, everyone starts shutting borders and limiting travel.”

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News that “as scientists have explained, (this is) the most significant variety they have found to yet.”

As financial markets processed the news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.5 percent, marking its worst day since late October 2020. European equities also suffered their worst day in 17 months, mirroring their worst day since late October 2020.

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