B.1.1.529 is the name of the new variant. Because of the unusually high number of mutations, it is not only highly contagious, but can also penetrate the protective shield of the vaccines more easily. Great Britain and Israel therefore restricted air traffic to the states in the region as a precaution. The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to discuss B.1.1.529 in a special session this Friday. Then it should also be decided whether the variant should be described as “interesting” or “worrying”, writes the “Guardian”.
Experts around the world express concern. In the middle of the night, the German SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach tweeted: “Nothing is worse than a new variant in a running wave.” He also brought entry restrictions into play.
In Great Britain, no cases have so far been found with the new variant, which is said to have around 30 mutations, reports “Welt”. According to an expert from the UK Healthcare Safety Authority, it is “the worst variant” seen so far. The effect of the vaccination could be reduced by up to 40 percent. So far there are only confirmed cases in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.
In Tokyo, the exchange reacted to the new Corona variant. The Nikkei fell nearly three percent at 5:15 a.m.CET, heading for its biggest weekly decline in almost two months.