Corona .. a warning of a high risk of an outbreak of the mutated “Omicron” in Europe, and Moderna plans to produce an antidose | Politics news


The European Health Commission warned of the outbreak of the new mutated Corona virus “omicron” in Europe, which is witnessing a fifth wave of the epidemic, and while the United States and Arab countries joined the ban on travel to South Africa and neighboring countries, the American company “Moderna” announced that it It seeks to produce a booster dose of the new anti-mutant.

In a statement issued on Friday evening, the European Health Commission said that the risk of the spread of the new mutated corona in Europe is “high to very high.”

This warning comes hours after the World Health Organization launched the name of the Greek letter omicron on the new mutant and classified it as worrisome.

This new strain of the Corona virus was discovered on the 24th of this month in South Africa, and it is the fifth strain placed within this classification after the “delta”, “beta”, “alpha” and “gamma” strains.

Experts believe that the Omicron mutant may be more resistant to the anti-Coronavirus vaccines that have been produced so far, and more transmissible.

So far, infections with the new strain of the Corona virus have been detected in Israel in a person returning from Malawi, and in Botswana, Belgium and Hong Kong.

booster dose

And the American pharmaceutical company Moderna announced Friday that it will develop a booster dose against the new Corona virus mutant, Omicron.

The company said – in a statement – that this is one of 3 strategies the company is working on to confront the new threat, including a higher dose of its currently used vaccine.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Dr. Gloria Taliani, an infectious disease specialist at the Italian Sapienza University, said that despite fears of the repercussions of the new mutation, she expects to develop new vaccines that fit the characteristics of the virus within 3 months.


Before the discovery of Omicron, there were 4 other worrisome variables, namely delta, which now represents almost all recorded cases in the world, and alpha, beta and gamma.

Officially, the first announcement of the Corona virus was on December 31, 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The alpha mutant appeared in the United Kingdom in September 2020, has spread to more than 100 countries, and has a transmissibility of about 50% greater than that of the original Corona virus.

The beta mutant appeared in South Africa in May 2020, has spread to at least 48 countries, and has a transmissibility of about 50% greater than the original virus.

As for the delta mutant, it appeared in India in October 2020, and it is the rapidly spreading mutant that has become the dominant strain in the world.

The gamma mutant appeared in Brazil in November 2020, and has been reported in 74 countries, and it is more transmissible than the original virus.

All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for Covid-19 disease, mutate over time.

Most mutations have little or no effect on the characteristics of the virus, but some mutations can affect the characteristics of the virus and lead, for example, to facilitating its spread, increasing the severity of the disease it causes, or reducing the effectiveness of vaccines and anti-drugs.

limitations on travel

Meanwhile, in an effort to prevent the spread of the new strain of the Corona virus, several countries announced travel bans to and from South Africa and 6 other neighboring countries.

US President Joe Biden announced Friday that his country will impose, starting on Monday, travel restrictions from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Swatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

As decided by all of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt imposed restrictions that include the suspension of flights and the suspension of entry for travelers from the countries concerned, while the Ministry of Public Health announced an update that is immediately applied to the list of travel and return to the exceptional red countries after the emergence of the new strain of Corona in Africa.

From Friday, Britain suspended all flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana, and European countries took a similar step.

On the other hand, the South African Minister of Health said that banning countries from traveling to his country because of the new Corona mutant contradicts global health standards.

He added that his country is confident that vaccines are still essential in protecting against the Omicron mutant.

Record numbers

Amid the growing global fear of the new mutation, during the past hours, record numbers were recorded in terms of the number of new infections, and the largest injuries were in European countries.

On Friday, Germany counted more than 76,000 new infections and 357 additional deaths from the Corona virus, while the number of patients transferred to intensive care departments in hospitals increased, which prompted the authorities to use the Air Force to transport patients.

In the context, the German government advisor to the Corona crisis, Detlev Gantum, told Al Jazeera that a comprehensive closure may be necessary if the new mutant does not respond to vaccines, but so far, the mutator is confined to several countries in southern Africa, and some countries are taking special measures to confront it.

It is expected that, in the coming hours, European countries will return to the closure procedures.

Market dips

Oil prices fell by about $ 10 a barrel on Friday, the largest drop in a single day since April 2020, on the impact of fears of a new outbreak of the Corona virus and fears of an inflationary excess of oil supply.

Brent crude fell by about $9 to reach $73.6 on Friday evening, while West Texas crude fell by about $9.5, at a rate of nearly 12%, and just exceeded $69 per barrel.

European stock exchanges also fell by about 3% due to fears of economic repercussions, in light of scientists warning that the new strain may be more resistant to current vaccines, undermining the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

In Asia, the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed at its lowest level in a month due to concerns about the mutating strain of the Corona virus.

Experts warn that new developments may lead to renewed closures and tighter restrictions on movement, which will lead to a decline in economic growth.


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