Happy post-Thanksgiving America.
U.S. stock markets opened sharply lower Friday morning as investors reacted with the fears of a new Covid variant found in South Africa but now spreading to Asia and Europe.
After the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by as much as 1000 points, or around 2.8 percent,
Why the panic? A new Botswana variant has been discovered in Southern Africa. This virus has 32 ‘horrific’ mutations is the most evolved Covid strain EVER and could be ‘worse than Delta’ — as expert says it may have emerged in an HIV patient
British experts have sounded the alarm over a new Covid variant believed to have emerged in Botswana that is the most mutated version of the virus yet.
In spite of the fact that only 10 cases of the strain, which could eventually be named ‘Nu’, has been detected so far, multiple nations around the world have stopped all air traffic to and from the region.
Britain banned flights from South Africa and neighboring countries and asked travelers returning from there to quarantine.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergencies director Mike Ryan is trying to calm the waters, “It’s really important that there are no knee-jerk responses here,”. He did though, praise South Africa’s public health institutions for picking up the new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.
In the U.S., Dr. Anthonly Fauci, a U.S. infectious disease official said on Friday that a ban on flights from southern Africa was a possibility and the United States was rushing to gather data on the new COVID-19 variant.
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No decision to halt flights had yet been made. Fauci says U.S. must study data before deciding on travel ban over new COVID-19 variant
Professor Francois Balloux, a geneticist at University College London, said it likely emerged in a lingering infection in an immunocompromised patient, possibly someone with undiagnosed AIDS.
Changes to the spike make it difficult for current jabs to fight off because they train the immune system to recognize an older version of this part of the virus.
Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College who first picked up on its spread, described the variant’s combination of mutations as ‘horrific’. B.1.1.529, its scientific name, had the potential to be ‘worse than nearly anything else about’ — including the world-dominant Delta strain.
Scientists told MailOnline, however, that its unprecedented number of mutations might work against it and make it ‘unstable’, preventing it from becoming widespread. They said there was ‘no need to be overly concerned’ because there were no signs yet that it was spreading rapidly.