A corona mutation discovered in South Africa is classified by experts as worrying, Great Britain and Israel are already restricting air traffic with six countries.
Berlin – While the corona pandemic and the delta mutation are currently causing increasing numbers in many parts of Europe and also in Germany, the discovery of a new corona variant in South Africa is causing international unrest. In view of the current developments on Thursday, two countries announced a temporary suspension of travel to six African countries. Initial findings have shown that vaccines may be less effective against the new corona mutation.
New corona mutation is causing international unrest – the first countries are restricting travel to six countries
The WHO announced on Thursday that it would “closely” observe the variant. It should then be decided on Friday whether B.1.1.529 is classified as a variant “of interest” or as “worrying”. “Early analyzes show that this variant has a high number of mutations that will require further studies,” said the WHO. South African scientists had previously announced that the new variant with the scientific name B.1.1.529 was “cause for concern”. In the meantime, the variant has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong among travelers from South Africa.
South Africa’s Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, described the variant as “seriously worrying” and as the cause of an “exponential” increase in reported cases in his country. The effectiveness of the vaccine against this virus variant is therefore still unclear. UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there was evidence that the variant “may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and that vaccines (…) may be less effective”. So far, the variant has not been proven in Great Britain, he added. British scientists, however, have expressed “very worried” about the development.
Corona mutation discovered in South Africa – British government reacts immediately
The British government announced on Thursday evening a temporary suspension of travel to six African countries. Health Minister Sajid Javid said that all flights to Great Britain from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana would be canceled from Friday noon. And Israel also imposed immediate travel restrictions on several African countries on Thursday. South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe,
Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini have been classified as “red countries” after a special consultation, said the office of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The executive head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun, anticipates that air traffic from Germany to southern Africa will have to be interrupted “shortly” due to a new Corona variant. “The scientists are all very alarmed,” said Braun on Friday morning in the ARD morning magazine.
The number of new corona infections reported daily in South Africa has recently risen dramatically. On Wednesday, the authorities reported 1200 new infections within 24 hours. At the beginning of November this value was still 106 cases. In South Africa, 35 percent of adults are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The beta variant of the virus was discovered in South Africa last year. With around 2.95 million corona cases and more than 89,600 deaths, South Africa is the hardest hit country in Africa according to official figures.
The fourth corona wave is sweeping inexorably across Europe. The number of infections is skyrocketing not only in Germany, there are also terrifying reports elsewhere.
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