Friday, November 26, 2021

EU to Propose Banning Flights From 'Southern African Region' Amid Concerns Over New COVID Variant - Sputnik International

Earlier in the day, the UK banned flights from six southern African nations, including South Africa and Botswana until 28 November over the spread of the B.1.1.529 strain of the coronavirus.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen tweeted on Friday that the commission "will propose, in close coordination with member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region due to the [new] variant of concern B.1.1.529".

This comes as the Financial Times cited unnamed sources as saying that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is convening an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the potentially rapid spread of a COVID strain found in South Africa and Botswana.


  1. The new Covid variant of major concern, which was first spotted in Botswana, has now been identified in Israel and Hong Kong, with experts fearing its mutations may allow it to spread quickly, evading existing Covid-19 immunity.

    Variant B.1.1.529, which is yet to be given a name from the Greek alphabet like previous strains have, has spread rapidly across southern Africa since it was first identified in Botswana in early November. The strain, which is known to have multiple mutations of concern, already accounts for 90% of Covid-19 cases in the South African province of Gauteng – the highveld state home to major cities Pretoria and Johannesburg.

    1. The spread of the variant across southern Africa has prompted a number of nations, including the UK and Israel, as well as countries in the European bloc, to declare flight bans from affected nations. The UK has banned flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini.

      On Friday, the Israeli health ministry announced that the highly mutated variant had been detected in the country. The infection was identified in an Israeli who had returned from Malawi. The ministry said it was monitoring two other people suspected of being infected.

    2. Meanwhile, two cases have been confirmed in the Asian financial hub of Hong Kong. Genome sequencing results from a Covid-19 patient who arrived in the city from South Africa confirmed on Thursday that the infection was the new variant from southern Africa.

      The patient was also accused of wearing a “selfish” valve-style face mask which allowed the infection to pass to another guest at the quarantine hotel last week. Both individuals had been fully vaccinated.

      The World Health Organization has admitted that little is known about the variant, with fewer than 100 full genomic sequences available for review. Experts have noted “a large number of mutations,” raising fears about the impact on diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccinations.

  2. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus variant to be "of concern" and named it Omicron.

    It said the variant had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested a possible increased risk of reinfection.

    It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November, and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

    Several countries banned travel from southern Africa on Thursday.

  3. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that countries restricting travel to and from southern Africa to prevent the spread of a “super-mutant” Covid-19 variant are acting too hastily.

    “At this point, implementing travel measures is being cautioned against,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said on Friday at a UN briefing in Geneva. “The WHO recommends that countries continue to apply a risk-based and a scientific approach when implementing travel measures.”


Only News

Calculadora para la Cola de Vacunación en México

Featured Post

“The U.S. must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people" : US Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard

US Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, recently visited Syria, and even met with President Bashar Al-Assad. She also visited the recently libe...

Blog Widget by LinkWithin