A new COVID variant has been detected in South Africa.
The new variant has a HIGH number of mutations according to scientists.
A new variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus has been detected in South Africa, its health minister, Joe Phaahla, announced Thursday.
Scientists say the new variant is a concern because it has a high number of mutations and spreads rapidly among young people in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province, he said at an online press briefing.
“Over the last four or five days, there has been more of an exponential rise [in new infections],” he said of South Africa’s case numbers of the CCP virus.
A surge in cases, which appeared to be cluster outbreaks from student gatherings in Pretoria and Tshwane, prompted scientists to study the genomic sequencing and subsequently discover the new variant, Phaahla said.
Scientists in South Africa are now working to determine what percentage of the new cases have been caused by the new variant, identified as B.1.1.529.
To date, 10 cases of the new variant have been confirmed by genomic sequencing, with three cases in Botswana, where it was first detected; six cases in South Africa; and one case in Hong Kong, in a traveler from South Africa.
The new variant has a “constellation” of new mutations, said Tulio de Oliveira, from the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa. He added that the high number of mutations is “a concern” as it could make the virus capable of evading immunity.
The Dow took a tumble in response to the news.
Wall Street is in a frenzy on Black Friday as stocks around the world tumbled in the face of a new Covid-19 variant.
US equities took a dive at the open and continued their downward path in the first half hour of trading, with the Dow more some 900 points lower. Oil prices were also badly hit.
The new variant has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel, prompting some countries to put flight bans in place.
Over the summer, the Delta variant spooked consumers and weighed on sectors like leisure and hospitality. Now investors and economists worry this new variant could do the same.
UPDATE-Worst Drop Of The Year:
CNBC: Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 1,000 points in worst drop of year
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) November 26, 2021
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