Africa: The United States and Canada are limiting travel from South Africa as new variants raise concerns

The United States, Brazil, Canada and Saudi Arabia have become the latest countries to restrict travel from southern Africa on Friday. It was discovered that the new Covid strain, labeled “Variant of Concern,” could have a significant impact on global eradication efforts. Coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Organization has renamed this B.1.1.529 strain of Covid-19 to Omicron, saying the new variant is more infectious than the predominant and contagious Delta strain.

After being discovered in South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong, it reached Europe in one confirmed case in Belgium.

Anxious tourists in Johannesburg rushed to the airport to catch the last flight as countries around the world began to close their doors, but many were more likely to have a new variant against the vaccine. I was worried that it might be tolerant.

Markets around the world have plummeted as news of a recent setback in the fight against the pandemic sank.

US President Joe Biden needs to donate more Covid-19 vaccines, abandon intellectual property protection, and produce more doses worldwide to stop the spread of the virus Said.

“The news about this new variant should reveal more than ever why this pandemic won’t end until we get a global vaccination,” he said.

Scientists are currently competing to determine the threat posed by highly mutated strains and whether current coronavirus vaccines need to be adjusted.

WHO said it could take weeks to understand the variant and warned against imposing a travel curb while scientific evidence was still lacking.

EU officials holding an emergency meeting urge all 27 countries in the block to limit travel from southern Africa, even though many members have already announced the suspension of flights. I agreed.

Europe is already suffering from a surge in coronavirus, and Friday’s Netherlands has become the latest country to tighten anti-covid regulations with the early closure of bars, restaurants and shops.

“From Sunday, the entire Netherlands is virtually closed from 5 pm to 5 am,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Belgium has published the first publicly known case of B.1.1.529 in Europe. It is an unvaccinated person who returned from Egypt via Turkey on November 11. The Ministry of Health did not disclose the nationality, age or gender of the individual.

“We have to repeat that this is a suspicious variant. I don’t know if it’s a very dangerous variant,” said Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

Israel said it had quarantined three people who had just returned from Malawi.

Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Cyprus and the Netherlands joined the UK on Friday to suspend flights from southern Africa.

The United States, Brazil, Canada and Guatemala also restricted travel from this region. US measures will come into effect on Monday.

Japan said travelers from this area would need a 10-day quarantine period.

Shock measures included South Africa, as well as Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The South African Ministry of Health has called the global rush of imposing travel bans “strict.”

Germany used a military aircraft on Friday to move patients in the intensive care unit to less distressed areas in an unprecedented move to fight the vicious fourth wave of the pandemic.

“The last thing we need now is a new variant introduced,” said Jens Spawn, Deputy Minister of Health of Germany.

The Philippines has also suspended flights from southern Africa, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Morocco have also announced bans.

The rush to shut down southern Africa is the day after Johannesburg scientists say they have found a new strain with at least 10 mutations compared to two in the Delta.

According to South African officials, the variant was a “serious concern” and was blamed for the surge in infections.

The eerie European market fell nearly 3%, especially airline stocks. Tokyo closed 2.53 percent.

The new variant plunged Wall Street in a shortened Friday holiday session, and the Dow Jones Index plunged 2.5%, suffering the worst losses of the year.

And next week’s World Trade Organization ministerial meeting was the largest rally of the World Trade Organization in four years and was canceled at the last minute of Friday due to a new variety, sources told AFP.

The European Medicines Agency said it was “premature” to talk about changing the current vaccine to target new variants.

BioNTech in Germany and Pfizer, a US pharmaceutical company, are studying variants “within two weeks at the latest” with impact data showing whether co-developed vaccines need to be adjusted if Omicron spreads worldwide. He said he was doing it.

However, Moderna said it will develop boosters specific to the new variant as part of three strategies to combat it.

Africa: The United States and Canada are limiting travel from South Africa as new variants raise concerns

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