US stocks plunged due to widespread concern over a new variant of COVID-19 detected in South Africa. The White House said that the travel restrictions would be implemented from next Monday between the United States and eight African countries because of the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant. “As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries,” US President Joe Biden said on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 905.04 points, or 2.53 percent, to 34,899.34. The S&P 500 fell 106.84 points, or 2.27 percent, to 4,594.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 353.57 points, or 2.23 percent, to 15,491.66. The Dow shed as much as over 1,000 points in the shortened session, which ended early at 1 pm Eastern Standard Time as part of the arrangement during the Thanksgiving holiday. The Cboe Volatility Index, widely considered as the best fear gauge in the stock market, shot up 54.04 percent closing at 28.62 points on Friday.