World Health Organization has in a statement on 26th November 2021 confirmed, Omicron, a new Covid variant discovered in South Africa as a “variant of concern”. WHO made this announcement with the evidence presented to it.
Why it matters?
Over the past few months there have been variants from coronavirus that hit the world in 2020; one of which is the delta variant. Last week, South Africa detected a new variant, Omicron. This news has raised global concerns as more countries have confirmed recent cases.
Countries with confirmed cases include Netherland, Denmark, Australia, Italy, Germany, Canada, Britain, Israel, Botswana, Belgium and Hong Kong.
Researchers in South Africa are closely monitoring the variants to determine its transmission, severity, resistance to vaccines and much more. WHO is also coordinating with other researchers all over the world to better understand this new variant.
Countries all over the world have been responding to this news by placing travel ban from countries in the South African region, sealing themselves off. The G7 have called for an emergency meeting of its health ministers to determine next steps. The implications of this discovery have been that financial markets have sold off and oil prices tumbled.