Kaohoon Morning Brief – 26 November 2021

1) WHO is monitoring new Covid-19 African variant closely

South African scientists have detected more than 30 mutations to the spike protein, a tool that helps a virus to enter the cell. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is monitoring a new Covid-19 variant called B.1.1.529 in small numbers of African patients. The new variant could have implications for vaccine efficacy and transmissibility.


2) Australia retail sales jumped 4.9% in October

Australian retail sales for October soared 4.9%, beating expectations of 2.5% expansion by economists and higher than the previous reading of 1.7% in September. A sharp rise in October came after the government lifted many stay-at-home restrictions as pent-up demand fuels the purchasing power.


3) German may not enter a lockdown despite a spike in Covid-19 cases

An attempt to persuade the German government for a two-week lockdown by Chancellor Angela Merkel has been reportedly facing a wall as the new government insisted on waiting to see if the new restrictions for Covid-19 announced last week could help lower the infection rate. Germany is facing a spike in Covid-19 infection, reporting nearly 80,000 cases in the past 24 hours, which was higher than the 7-day average of 54,000 cases. The death toll surpassed 100,000 after adding 351 deaths reported yesterday.


4) Tesla plans to expand its production plant in Shanghai

Tesla Inc plans to invest up to $187.90 million (1.2 billion yuan) to expand the production capacity of its Shanghai factory, according to Beijing Daily newspaper on Friday. The expansion would create 4,000 jobs at the site.