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European Union might ban flights from Africa amid new Covid-19 variant considerations

Picture Supply : AP

Folks store in a mall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday Nov. 26, 2021. 

Highlights

  • France suspends all flights coming from southern Africa for 48 hours
  • The brand new variant has been recognized as B.1.1.529. South Africa has reported 6 circumstances
  • A fourth spike of the coronavirus is hitting the 27-nation EU particularly badly

The European Union’s govt stated on Friday it desires to cease air journey from southern Africa to counter the unfold of a brand new COVID-19 variant. EU Fee President Ursula von der Leyen stated in an announcement that she proposes, in shut coordination with the member states, to activate the emergency brake to cease air journey from the southern African area.

A brand new coronavirus variant has been detected in South Africa that scientists say is a priority due to its excessive variety of mutations and speedy unfold amongst younger folks in Gauteng, the nation’s most populous province.

A fourth spike of the coronavirus is hitting the 27-nation EU particularly badly, with governments scrambling to tighten restrictions in an try and comprise unfold. The flight ban proposal got here within the wake of comparable motion from Britain on Thursday.

The UK introduced that it was banning flights from South Africa and 5 different southern African international locations efficient at midday on Friday, and that anybody who had lately arrived from these international locations can be requested to take a coronavirus take a look at. UK Well being Secretary Sajid Javid stated there have been considerations the brand new variant could also be extra transmissible than the dominant delta pressure, and the vaccines that we at the moment have could also be much less efficient towards it.

The coronavirus evolves because it spreads and lots of new variants, together with these with worrying mutations, usually simply die out. Scientists monitor for potential modifications that could possibly be extra transmissible or lethal, however finding out whether or not new variants could have a public well being impression can take time. Presently recognized as B.1.1.529, the brand new variant has additionally been present in Botswana and Hong Kong in vacationers from South Africa, he stated.

The World Well being Group’s technical working group is to fulfill Friday to evaluate the brand new variant and should resolve whether or not to offer it a reputation from the Greek alphabet. The World Well being Group says coronavirus infections jumped 11% in Europe prior to now week, the one area on the earth the place COVID-19 continues to rise. The WHO’s Europe director, Dr. Hans Kluge, warned that with out pressing measures, the continent may see one other 700,000 deaths by the spring. The EU’s emergency brake mechanism has been set as much as take care of such emergencies.

The place the epidemiological state of affairs of a 3rd nation or area worsens rapidly, specifically if a variant of concern or of curiosity has been detected, member states ought to undertake an pressing, momentary restriction on all journey into the EU. This emergency brake mustn’t apply to EU residents, long-term EU residents and sure classes of important vacationers, who ought to however be topic to applicable testing and quarantine measures, even when totally vaccinated. Such restrictions needs to be reviewed not less than each two weeks.

READ MORE: India on alert after new Covid variant detected in Africa, govt requires strict screening of travellers

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