South Africa says UK flight bans on COVID-19 variants appear to be in a hurry.

Travelers were tested for coronavirus disease on January 14, 2021 at the Glasmiator Plaza in Lenasia, South Africa, during a national COVID-19 blockade. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

November 26, 2021

Johannesburg (Reuters) – South Africa has been rushing to detect new COVID-19 variants on Friday, as even the World Health Organization (WHO) has not advised on the next step, so flights from six South African countries Announced a ban by the UK. ..

Scientists have so far detected only a relatively small number of B.1.1.529 mutants in South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong, but of mutations that may help evade the body’s immune response and increase infectivity. I am concerned about the large number. ..

The UK said it was the most important variant found after a temporary ban on flights from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia from noon on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, investors became cautious and the rand fell more than 1% against the dollar. Hospitality stocks such as Tsogo Sun Hotels and City Lodge Hotels fell 9% and 20% on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, respectively, as South Africa is a major destination for UK travelers.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said in a statement, “Our immediate concern is the damage this decision will bring to both the tourism industry and businesses in both countries.”

South Africa’s Tourism Association SATSA said travel restrictions in the United Kingdom have punished countries like South Africa with advanced genomic sequencing capabilities.

The Foreign Ministry added that South Africa would discuss with British authorities and try to force them to reconsider their decision.

Singapore also said it would limit arrivals from South Africa and neighboring countries to eliminate variants. Meanwhile, India has issued recommendations to all states to rigorously test and screen international travelers from South Africa and other “endangered” countries.

Increased infection

South Africa urgently joined the WHO Working Group on Viral Evolution on Friday to discuss new variants.

The countries most affected in Africa in terms of total reported cases and deaths calmed down COVID-19 cases after a serious third wave of infection until a new infection began to occur last week. Was experiencing.

On Thursday, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) reported 2,465 new cases, nearly double the number the day before. NICD did not link the resurrection to the B.1.1.529 variant, but major local scientists suspect it was the cause.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it strongly discouraged travel bans to countries that reported variants.

“I found that imposing a ban on travelers from countries where new variants have been reported does not have meaningful consequences. Rather, the implementation of public health and social measures should be prioritized. Is. “

(Report by Alexander Winning; edited by Kim Coghill and Mark Potter)

South Africa says UK flight bans on COVID-19 variants appear to be in a hurry

Source link South Africa says UK flight bans on COVID-19 variants appear to be in a hurry


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