EU Calls New Covid-19 Strain a ‘Variant of Concern’
(Bloomberg) -- The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control labeled the new Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa as a ‘variant of concern’ in a statement on its website on Friday.
The B.1.1.529 variant, a highly contagious variant with cases already detected in Israel and Belgium, has roiled global travel plans and markets, driving steep selloffs in airline stocks and buoying lockdown staples including Zoom Video Communications Inc.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday that air travel from southern Africa should be suspended “until we have a clearer understanding of the dangers posed by this variant” and that scientists support such a precaution. She noted that EU contracts with vaccine manufacturers require companies to adapt the medication to new variants when necessary as they emerge.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.