The discovery of a new variant of coronavirus B.1.1.529, which was later named Omikron, caused great panic among ordinary people and politicians. Even stock markets, which literally collapsed, reacted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 1,000 points briefly on Friday. The S&P 500 index closed a decline of 2.3%, which is the worst day since February, he says Times of Israel.
Countries are now taking massive measures to prevent its spread. There are rumors that this may be the most dangerous mutant we have ever discovered. It threatens to be many times more infectious, and at the same time that it can avoid immunity from vaccines or overcoming infection.
Where does this variant come from and when was it first detected?
South African scientists discovered a new variant on Tuesday in samples from November 14 to 16. On Wednesday, experts sequenced other genomes and said they were concerned about their findings.
The coronavirus spreads mainly in the most populous province of South Africa (South Africa), Gauteng, which is located in Johannesburg and Pretoria. South Africa has so far recorded around 1,200 confirmed cases of this variant, he says German wave.
However, according to laboratory results, it is clear that the variant is spreading rapidly and is likely to occur in eight other provinces of the country, according to TASR, which refers to the agency Reuters.
source: TASR / AP, Jerome Delay
The daily rate of infections in South Africa has almost doubled this week. The South African National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) did not initially attribute an increase in the presence of the new variant.
However, local scientists already assume that B.1.1.529. may be the cause of a jump in infections. They estimate that up to 90% of all new cases of coronavirus in Gauteng may be related to B.1.1.529.
Researchers have noted its presence mainly in young people who were tired and in pain. “We’re not talking about patients who have to go straight to the hospital and be admitted.” said Dr. Angelique Coetzee, head of the South African Medical Association for BBC.
Neighboring Botswana, meanwhile, has uncovered four cases. These were foreigners who came on a diplomatic mission and have left the country since.
South Africa has already said that instead of praising the mutation and promptly alerting it to the authorities, it is now being punished in the form of travel restrictions to the country, the BBC said.
Why was there such a panic, how is this variant different?
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- How does the new mutation differ?
- Whether there is reason to panic
- Why the mutation is called Omikron
- How probably the mutation occurred
- What measures are being taken by the countries and whether a new vaccine or another dose will be needed
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