oppn parties Omicron Spooks Stock Markets Worldwide

News Snippets

  • T20 WC: USA enter Super Eights as their last match against Ireland gets washed out. They were ahead of Pakistan in the points tally. Pakistan were eliminated
  • T20 WC: USA enter Super Eights as their last match against Ireland gets washed out. They were ahead of Pakistan in the points tally. Pakistan were eliminated
  • BJD leader and former Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik said that the criticism of his aide V K Pandian is "regrettable"
  • As more than 20 BJP ministers lost in the recent elections, the new Union cabinet will have many new faces from the party
  • Congress Working committee asks Rahul Gandhi to take up the position of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. Gandhi says he will consider the request
  • RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said that gold was shifted to India as the quantum of RBI gold abroad had increased due to recent purchases
  • Delhi HC rules that submitting photographic evidence of adultery will not be enough, they will have to be proved as authentic in the age of deepfakes
  • A four-member panel will review NEET-UG results of 1563 candidates to check if they were given extra marks for exam time loss
  • Mamata Banerjee says her party will not join Modi's oath-taking ceremony. Also says INDIA bloc might stake claim to form government later
  • K C Tyagi of the JD(U) dropped a bombshell when he said that Nitish Kumar was offered the post of prime minister for switching sides. Opposition leaders rubbished the claim
  • This May was India's hottest month in 36 years says IMD
  • T20 WC: India take on Pakistan today. Telecast to begin at 8pm IST
  • T20 WC: Afghanistan stun New Zealand and Bangladesh win against Sri Lanka
  • T20 World Cup: Australia beat England by 36 runs. This spoils England's chances of making the playoffs as they have lost both their matches till now
  • Heat wave continues in the country as monsoon moves slow
G7 commits to promote India-Europe corridor
oppn parties
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.