oppn parties Omicron Spooks Stock Markets Worldwide

News Snippets

  • Delhi Additional district judge Nikhil Chopra says there is no legal right for people seeking to worship deity inside Qutab Minar, says it survived 800 years without worship so "let it survive like that"
  • Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann sacks state health minister Vijay Singla over corruption charges. Singla was later arrested by the ACB
  • Protestors burn the house of Andhra minister P Viswaroop and MLA Satish Kumar over renaming of Konaseema district as B R Amberdkar Konaseema
  • Gyanvapi: Varanasi district judge decides to first hear the 'maintainability' plea filed by mosque management
  • Delhivery and Venus Pipes shares list at premium of 10% and 8.7% respectively even when market sentiment was down
  • In a bid to cool edible oil prices, Centre allows duty-free imports of 20 lakh tonnes each of crude sunflower oil and crude palm oil per annum this year and next
  • Centre caps sugar exports to ensure availability of stocks in the domestic markets to cool prices
  • Stock markets get the jitters as RBI signals rate hike and government moves in to control inflation: Sensex tumbles by 236 points to 54052 and Nifty goes down by 89 points to 16125
  • IPL: Lucknow Super Giants to meet Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first Eliminator today. Winners to take on Rajasthan Royals for a place in the finals
  • IPL: Sensational David Miller blasts three sixes off the first three deliveries of the last over to help Gujarat Titans beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets and enter their maiden IPL final in their debut year
  • While joining US-led IPEF, PM Modi says it will bring "peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region"
  • Mamata Banerjee says Bengal government will not lower VAT as the excise cut by the Centre will already reduce state's revenue by Rs 641 cr
  • Mamata Banerjee says Central agencies must be made autonomous to save democracy
  • While commuting the death sentence of 2 men and 1 woman, the Supreme Court says convict's conduct before and after crime is vital for death penalty
  • Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya slams the Covid death report of WHO at the 75th session of World Health Assembly in Geneva
US President Joe Biden says India-US ties to be among "closest on earth" //////// China and Russia send bombers near Japan even as Quad leaders were holding meetings there /////// Gujarat Titans enter IPL finals in style, beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets
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Omicron Spooks Stock Markets Worldwide

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2021-11-27 15:20:48

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

The B.1.1.529 Covid variant, now named Omicron and classified as a variant of “concern” by the WHO, spooked the stock markets worldwide on Friday as South Africa reported a ten-fold increase in fresh Covid infections in November. Indices in India fell by nearly 3% as the Sensex crashed 1687 points to close at 57107 and the Nifty by 509 points to finish the day at 17026.

The biggest worry is that Omicron is showing that the variant has a huge number of mutations and clusters of mutations. This spells fresh trouble for a world already grappling with the virus for nearly two years now. Even as all countries, including India, were thinking of easing norms for international travel in the wake of falling fresh Covid cases (India reported below 9000 cases on Friday, the lowest in more than 18 months, the discovery of this new variant has thrown a spanner in the works.

The business community is worried that if restrictive measures like national, or even local, lockdowns are once again enforced, demand for goods and services will fall once again and supply chains, showing signs of returning to normal, would once again be thrown out of gear. It has taken nearly one year for the economy to limp back to normalcy. Any disruption at this stage would be disastrous.

But governments all over the world cannot take risks. India suffered immensely when the second wave struck due to premature celebration for having warded off the Covid threat and a consequent lowering of the guard. This time the country should not be caught napping. We are likely to miss the vaccination target for giving at least the first dose to the eligible adult population. Hence, all Covid protocols must now be followed with strictness.

The Prime Minister has already asked officials to review their decision to ease international travel restrictions. He has also called for a greater number of samples to be sent for genome sequencing. In the last couple of months, testing has come down drastically in India. It needs to be done on earlier levels again. The vaccination drive must also pick up pace and the Har Ghar Dastak (or door-to-door campaign to vaccinate people) drive must also be strengthened. If people are not coming forward to get jabbed, they must be given the jab at their home as vaccination remains the best shield against the virus. Any laxity is going to spell disaster for the Indian economy.