BUSINESS LIVE: FTSE dives on fresh Covid variant fears from six African nations; German growth slows; Gangs handed billions in ’emergency loans’
Flights from South Africa and five other countries to the UK have been banned after health secretary Sajid Javid last night sounded the alarm over a new ‘worst-ever’ super-mutant Covid variant that will make vaccines at least 40 per cent less effective.
Experts explained earlier how the B.1.1.529 variant has more than 30 mutations – the most ever recorded in a variant and twice as many as Delta – that suggest it could be more jab-resistant and transmissible than any version before it.
Germany’s recovery was beginning to stutter even before a fourth wave of Covid engulfed Europe, figures have revealed.
The EU’s largest economy grew by just 1.7 per cent in July to September – missing initial estimates of 1.8 per cent, according to its federal statistics body Destatis, and pointing to a tough year ahead for the new government led by Olaf Scholz.
The panoply of Covid loans and support schemes have protected the economy, but they have also served as gigantic honey pots for swarms of fraudsters and chancers.
The granting of coronavirus loans was so lax as to be an open invitation to fraud and other misuse, with billions of pounds handed to companies with minimal checking.
Health secretary Sajid Javid last night sounded the alarm over a new ‘worst-ever’ super-mutant Covid variant