EgyptAir started on Saturday suspending its flights to the South African capital, Johannesburg, in light of the decision of the Supreme Committee for the Coronavirus Crisis Management to suspend direct flights to and from South Africa against the background of what the World Health Organization announced regarding the new variant of the virus, which is called “ Omicron”.
Informed sources said that the company canceled its first flight No. MS839 which was heading to Johannesburg and was scheduled to take off from Cairo International Airport at 11:00 pm.
The new Omicron version, which was discovered initially in South Africa, has heightened global anxieties because it is thought to be more deadly than the delta variant.
The World Health Organization (WHO) designated it as a ‘variant of concern’ on Friday.
The new South African strain has been designated as a source of concern by the WHO because it has a high number of mutations (32), potentially making it more transmissible and deadly. The WHO has given it the name Omicron, which is the Greek alphabet’s 15th letter.
Following news of the new variant, the US, the EU, Canada, Israel, Australia, and other countries have imposed travel restrictions on many southern African countries due to health concerns.