The WHO has classified the new strain as “variant of concern”. It is responsible for an increase in South African cases and has raised concerns about its high rate of mutations.
According to a senior administration official, the U.S. will limit travel to South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday. This is in response to the newly-named “Omicron variant COVID-19,” according to one senior administrator.
Senior administration officials stated Friday that the policy was implemented “out of an abundance of caution” and following advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci (the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden).
The restriction also applies to Botswana and Zimbabwe as well as Namibia, Lesotho (Eswatini), Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho and Namibia.
U.S. stocks dropped Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at its worst day of the year . This was due to news about the variant . The variant was first identified in South Africa and has been confirmed in Europe and Asia. The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting. Other countries, including the United Kingdom and the European Union, announced that they would restrict travel to the African continent.
The WHO has designated the new strain as “variant of concern.” It is responsible for an increase in South African cases. There are also concerns about its high number mutations that could make it more resistant to vaccines.
Maria Van Kerkhove (infectious disease epidemiologist, WHO’s Covid-19 technical leader) said that “we don’t know much about it yet.” In a Thursday video, Maria Van Kerkhove stated that there is not much we can do to help. We know that this variant contains a lot of mutations. It is possible that the virus’ behavior can be affected by having so many mutations.