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Omicron ‘overtaking’ Delta in South Africa

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The new COVID-19 variant Omicron is causing a rise in reinfections in South Africa, a scientist studying the strain has said, though also appears to have less severe symptoms. David Doyle has more.

Omicron is causing an increase in COVID-19 reinfections in South Africa, a scientist studying the new strain has said, and is fast overtaking Delta to become the country’s dominant variant.

Professor Anne von Gottberg, a microbiologist at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, was speaking at a World Health Organization press conference on Thursday (December 2).

“Previous infection used to protect against Delta but now with Omicron that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

However, she said she and her colleagues believe new infections and reinfections with Omicron would feature less severe symptoms.

COVID-19 cases are rising dramatically in South Africa – one of the southern African countries that first detected the variant.

Speaking at the same event, the WHO’s regional emergency director for Africa, Dr Salam Gueye, said the organization was working closely with countries to step up the response to the new variant.

“In South Africa, where WHO has already a team working in genomic sequencing, we are deploying a surge team in Gauteng province to support surveillance and contact tracing.”

But Gueye also warned that only 7.5% of Africans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – and that 80% haven’t had a single shot.

“This is a dangerously wide gap.”

Many countries have imposed travel bans on passengers from southern Africa.

African leaders have protested – saying they are being punished for their transparency in reporting data on Omicron.

On Thursday Ghana said it had detected the new strain in 34 samples from travelers who returned to the country between November 21 and 25 – but gave no further details about those who were tested.

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ASEAN emerging as new global economic power?

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As global supply chains adapt to the pandemic and heightened US-China tensions, attention shifts to ASEAN’s emerging economies.

Could Vietnam and Indonesia lead ASEAN into becoming a third economic powerhouse alongside China and India? Professor Tim Harcourt of UTS and The Airport Economist on Ticker weighs in.

While debates on ‘deglobalisation’ persist, the question arises: is production truly shifting or merely realigning? Geopolitical uncertainties prompt businesses to diversify their supply chains away from China, a move influenced by both politics and economics. Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia emerge as preferred destinations due to their strategic advantages and growing economies.

Australia’s recent Australian ASEAN Summit highlights the potential gains from closer ASEAN ties, given its vast population of over 640 million. What collaborative opportunities lie ahead?

Professor Harcourt’s upcoming Airport Economist ASEAN series on Ticker promises deeper insights into ASEAN’s economic landscape, revealing its potential as a significant global player.

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Investors assess geopolitical risks amidst tensions

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Amidst a backdrop of geopolitical easing, investors are reassessing their risk strategies to navigate a more tranquil global landscape.

This shift coincides with markets recalibrating expectations around potential rate cuts, resulting in a downturn in stocks.

In the tech sector, all eyes are on US earnings reports this week, particularly those of industry giants whose performance often sets the tone for market sentiment.

Additionally, anticipation mounts ahead of the release of Australian CPI data, scheduled for Wednesday, which promises insights into economic health and potential monetary policy implications.

These developments underscore the need for investors to remain vigilant and adaptable in response to evolving geopolitical and economic dynamics.

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Building the financial foundations for every decade

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Navigating financial milestones: strategies for success in your 20s, 30s, and beyond

Your 20s mark the beginning of your financial journey, and building sustainable cash flow habits is paramount. Start by tackling high-interest debts like credit cards and Afterpay systematically. Allocate at least 10% of your income to savings and automate it into high-interest investments. Be intentional with your budget, understanding how each expense serves you.

As you transition into your 30s, family and homeownership become significant commitments. Approach these decisions thoughtfully, considering affordability and lifestyle implications. Develop a strategy to pay off your home loan swiftly, regularly reviewing your interest rate and payment options.

In your 40s, focus shifts to superannuation, maximising concessional contributions for tax efficiency. Ensure your investments are managed by reputable professionals with the right asset allocation. Invest in properties with strong cash flow and growth potential to secure your financial future.

Each stage of life presents unique financial opportunities and challenges.

By following these guidelines, you can lay a solid foundation for wealth creation and security throughout your lifetime.

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