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9:00 a.m. Nov. 26, 2021 - By Robert Schroeder
White House announces restrictions on travel from South Africa, 7 other countries The White House on Friday announced the U.S. will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other African nations starting Monday. Senior administration officials said the policy is being put in place "out of an abundance of caution in light of a new COVID-19 variant circulating in Southern Africa." The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 900 points on Friday on concerns over the new variant, which the World Health Organization . The seven other countries are Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Administration officials said the new policy doesn't apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. A White House official said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the new COVID variant.
8:08 a.m. Nov. 26, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
WHO names coronavirus variant from South Africa 'omicron' and designates it a 'variant of concern'The World Health Organization's technical advisory group said Friday it has assigned the B.1.1.529 variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 the Greek letter omicron and said it has been designated a "variant of concern." Earlier reports . The variant, which was first reported from South Africa, led the U.K. and European Union to implement travel bans on South Africa and neighboring countries on Friday, amid concerns it may be more transmissible than the original virus and more lethal. "This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning," the group said in a statement. "Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa." For now, there are a number of studies underway, and the group will continue to monitor and track the variant. It called on countries to enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts, to submit complete genome sequences and associated metadata to a publicly available database and to report cases and clusters to the WHO. "Individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated," said the statement.
2:31 a.m. Nov. 26, 2021 - By Steve Gelsi
Drug maker stocks rise but travel stocks sink on new coronavirus variantShares of airlines fell and drug makers rose in premarket trades on Friday as investors reacted to fresh travel bans related to a new variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 called B.1.1.529 identified in South Africa. Meanwhile, stocks relating to 'stay-at-home' activities gained. The British government has banned flights from South Africa and five other southern African countries. The World Health Organization's technical working group is meeting Friday to discuss the variant. Pfizer advanced by 5.8%, Moderna gained 8.7%, Southwest Airlines dropped 7%, American Airlines stock slumped 7%; Expedia fell 6.8% and United Airlines dropped 7.6%. Delta Air Lines lost 7.8%, Norwegian Cruise gave up 9.6% and Royal Caribbean shares slid 10%. Netflix rose 2%.Take-Two Interactive Software rose by 1%.
3:23 a.m. Sept. 13, 2021 - By William Watts
OPEC raises forecast for 2022 growth in global oil demandThe Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday boosted its forecast for 2022 growth in global oil demand to 4.2 million barrels a day, up 900,000 barrels a day from its August projection. OPEC, in a monthly report, said it now expects 2022 global demand of 100.8 million barrels a day, topping pre-pandemic levels. World oil-demand growth for 2021 was left unchanged at 6 million barrels a day. OPEC said oil demand in the third quarter has been resilient, supported by rising mobility and travel. At the same time, the increased risk of COVID-19 cases has clouded oil demand prospects going into the final quarter, resulting in downward adjustments to fourth-quarter 2021 assessments. As a result, second-half 2021 oil demand "has been adjusted slightly lower, partially delaying the oil demand recovery into 1H22," the report said. The non-OPEC supply growth forecast for 2022 was left unchanged at 2.9 million barrels a day. OPEC trimmed its 2021 forecast for non-OPEC supply growth by 170,000 barrels a day.
7:56 a.m. Jan. 28, 2021 - By Jaimy Lee
South Carolina officials confirm first two cases of South African variant in the U.S. Health officials in South Carolina confirmed that two people in the state have tested positive for a new coronavirus variant that was first identified in South Africa. These are the first two confirmed cases of the more infectious variant in the U.S. The South African strain, which is called B.1.351, is one of several new variants wthat have emerged around the world and are raising concern among government officials and medical experts over their transmissibility. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed the two cases in residents of the Lowcountry and the Pee Dee region in a on Thursday. Neither adult has a travel history, and they do not know each other, officials said. Health departments use genomic sequencing to identify new strains or variants among COVID-19 test samples; this is how the South Carolina health department identified both cases. Another variant, the B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, has infected more than 300 people in the U.S. so far, according to the from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This variant is also thought to be more infectious. This week, Moderna Inc. said a laboratory study demonstrated that its COVID-19 vaccine against the B.1.351 strain, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said one of the two antibodies used in its COVID-19 treatment .
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