Following the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa, the UK government has imposed temporary travel restrictions on six African nations.
Three days ago, a novel coronavirus variety, B.1.1.529, was found in South Africa, with 59 cases verified in South Africa, Hong Kong, and Botswana.
Despite the fact that the variation has yet to be found in the United Kingdom, it has announced that passengers from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini will not be permitted to enter the country beginning at 12:00 GMT on Friday (1 p.m. Nigerian time).
“The UK Health Security Agency is researching a new type,” UK health secretary Sajid Javid said. More information is needed, but we’re already taking safeguards.”
“Six African nations will be added to the red list at noon tomorrow, November 26th, flights will be temporarily suspended, and UK travellers will be required to quarantine.”
According to experts, the B.1.1.529 variety could be the most dangerous and concerning yet. This is due to its “terrible spike mutation profile,” which experts believe may help it avoid immunity. According to early assessments, it is capable of reducing vaccine efficiency to barely 30%.
Mr Javid explained, “The initial signs we have of this variety are that it may be more transmissible than the Delta version and that the vaccines we now have may be less effective.”
British scientists, he claims, are “extremely concerned” about this variety.
“We will ask everyone travelling from these countries to quarantine themselves in hotels starting at 4 a.m. on Sunday,” Mr Javid said, adding that individuals arriving before that time must self-isolate and perform two PCR tests on the second and eighth days of their confinement.
“And if someone has arrived from these countries within the last 10 days,” he said, “we will ask them to perform PCR tests.”
Following the discovery of this new variety, the WHO will convene a special meeting.