Global Markets Collapse Due to New COVID-19 Strain

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Stocks fell and oil prices fell more than 10 percent on Friday as the emergence of a new strain of COVID-19 shook global markets.

South Africa’s health minister said Thursday that the new coronavirus strain is likely spreading rapidly in parts of the country. It has also been found in Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.

UK Health Minister Sajid Javid said the strain “may be more transmissible” than the Delta strain and that “the vaccines we currently have may be less effective.”

The new strain has already prompted the UK government to ban flights from six African countries. Several EU countries are taking similar measures.

Investors are “scared” by the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, said Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst at Oando.

Economists are already nervously watching the surge in the incidence of COVID-19 in Europe. Several countries have introduced new restrictions to contain proliferation, raising the likelihood of a slowdown in activity this winter at a time when inflation and supply chain problems are already blurring growth prospects.

In Britain, a new strain of COVID-19 called a particularly dangerous “hypermutant”

The British edition of the Daily Mail called the new strain of the coronavirus “omicron” an impending especially dangerous “hypermutant”. Presumably, the “omicron” appeared in southern Africa.

The publication notes that the new omicron coronavirus strain, registered under the index B.1.1.529, has strongly mutated. 32 mutations were found in its spike protein – significantly more than in any other strain. Many experts have already noted strong changes in the virus.

Virologists, in a commentary to the publication, called such a combination of mutations terrifying. They believe that the omicron strain may be “worse than everyone else,” including the currently dominant delta in the world.

Experts also worry that vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, which are used to treat infection, will not work effectively on the new strain of coronavirus. They also noted the increased infectivity of the omicron, which is about five times more infectious than the delta.

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