The African “Corona” mutant confuses the world


          The “Health Organization” evaluates the alarming “Omicron” boom … and countries are tightening travel restrictions            

        <span itemprop="name">  Brussels: Shawki Al-Rayes - London - Riyadh: «Asharq Al-Awsat»</span>
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          <p>The level of concern has risen again in global health circles after the detection of a “worrying” viral mutation in South Africa, while the pace of the epidemic continues to rise in all European countries that are preparing for a new round of strict prevention measures.

At least five countries, namely South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium, have recorded limited infections with the new mutant, which scientists fear will be more able to spread and more resistant to approved vaccines against “Covid-19”.

And several countries around the world announced tightening travel restrictions and banning flights from countries located in southern Africa. In this context, Saudi Arabia decided to suspend entry to its territory from 7 African countries, namely: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and the two kingdoms of Lesotho and Oswatini, based on what the competent health authorities in the Kingdom submitted about the emergence of the mutated strain of “Covid-19”. And monitoring the transmission of infected people to other countries.

For its part, the World Health Organization held an emergency meeting to analyze the new mutator that confused the world, to know its speed of transmission, its lethality and its resistance to vaccines. The organization considered the new mutation “disturbing” and named it “Omicron”. “It takes weeks to determine the ability of the strain to spread and the efficacy of vaccines and drugs against it,” said spokesman Christian Lindmeier.

For her part, Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist and head of the technical team on “Covid-19” at the organization, said: “We don’t know much yet. What we do know is that this mutated strain contains a large number of mutations. The worry is that when there are a lot of mutations, it could have an effect on the behavior of the virus.”

And it seemed that the African metamorphosis of “Corona” caused an earthquake yesterday in global stock markets, in light of recording heavy losses in all assets, amid great demand for havens.
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