European officials express concern over ‘dangerous’ new Covid version



A man walks through the main street of the Christmas market in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

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A top EU official said that news of a new coronavirus The version is “dangerous” and is believed to have implications for the region’s economy.

A handful of countries, notably South Africa and Botswana, have identified cases of the new variant., known as b.1.1.1.529. Experts have tried to allay initial concerns that COVID-19 shots should still be effective to some degree.



“It’s alarming what’s emerging,” Mairead McGuinness, the EU’s commissioner for financial stability, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday.

“For our economies, of course, if there are further restrictions, it should increase, which we hope will not happen, then you will probably see some impact,” he said, noting that the bloc to deal with the pandemic is now better placed. with the first wave.



The new version comes at a time when various European nations are grappling with rising cases of the delta variant and have therefore announced social restrictions to contain the spread. This means that some countries, including Austria and the Czech Republic, have focused on non-vaccinated parts of their populations.

But for most EU governments, the new measures include mandatory mask use in indoor spaces and advice on working from home. Unlike previous waves, there has not been a comprehensive announcement of a complete lockdown so far.

European officials are also stepping up efforts to increase vaccinations. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday: “A quarter of EU adults are still not fully vaccinated. If you are unvaccinated, you are at higher risk of having severe COVID-19 symptoms.” Vaccination protects you and others.”

‘Very worried’

“It appears that this particular variant has a very related set of mutations, specifically in the spike protein, which is essential for its transmission properties as well as its protection against vaccines, so based on the genetic information we can identify it.” Very worried about it.” Pasi Pantinen, a public health emergency response manager at the European Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, told CNBC on Friday.

The ECDC is assessing the situation and will report to EU governments later on Friday.

“We still have a lot to learn about the situation in South Africa and all efforts must now be made not only in South Africa but also in countries in the Southern African region to ensure that they get a complete picture of this virus. “

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