The medical impact of the new virus variant remains to be seen, but the economic impact already appears real.
Just as it began to welcome foreign business people and students again, Japan will close its borders again from Tuesday. Israel and Morocco also announced such a measure at the end of this week.
club Friday sales waveStock markets in the Far East remained under pressure on Friday. The Tokyo Stock Exchange opened flat on Monday, but took a hit after the lunch break when it became clear that the country would be closed tomorrow. The Nikkei is just under 2 per cent.
“There is one thing investors hate and that is uncertainty,” said Rob Carnell, economist at ING. Unfortunately, scientists cannot provide absolute facts. Indicators only, based on data. And there is very little of the latter at the moment.”
However, economists warn that regardless of the medical impact of the omicron variant of the virus, the economic impact is already real. China still swears by the “zero-Covid” strategy and will be locked down more than ever, so Japan will also go into hedgehog mode from tomorrow.
Many countries, including Belgium, have recently No-fly zone From South Africa, where the new format first appeared. The Philippines also put Belgium and six other European countries on the red list. From these countries, travel to the Philippines is no longer permitted.
Already in 7 European countries
Meanwhile, more infections are emerging with one of the omicron-type coronaviruses. Two cases of the variant were also identified in Denmark. These are the travelers from South Africa. They are in quarantine and close to their contacts are also isolated.
Denmark is the seventh country in Europe where a new variant, which may be highly contagious, has been identified. The omicron variant has also appeared in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
We know that we are now in a race against time. Vaccine manufacturers need two to three weeks to fully understand the mutagenic characteristics of the virus.
The new omikron variant is now being analyzed as quickly as possible. “We know that we are now in a race against time,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. Vaccine manufacturers need two to three weeks to get a complete picture of the characteristics of the virus’ mutations.
Anthony Fauci, who is leading the fight against the epidemic in the United States, says it will take two weeks to collect all the data.
Manufacturer Moderna already started work on a vaccine against omicron on Thursday. On Saturday, Dirk Ramakers, head of the Belgian vaccination brigade, said companies like Moderna and Pfizer could in principle develop a new vaccine within two to three months, which would be adapted to a new type.
If necessary, the vaccine can be put on the market after only four months.
The Omikron variant has been in Italy for weeks
The first Italian diagnosed with the omicron variant of the coronavirus tested negative when he boarded a plane bound for Rome, Mozambique on November 12. He then traveled to his hometown in northern Naples and then to Milan for a medical examination. He adhered to the rules of social distancing, but stayed in a hotel, rented a car and ate at restaurants.
Only then was the diagnosis made. It shows how difficult it is to stop the spread of the new variant. The man, who works for the oil company Eni, made an anonymous statement this weekend.
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