Flights from Southern Africa are prohibited over the new Covid Strain in Europe.
On Friday, Europe hurried to impose a travel ban from southern Africa to halt the spread of a new Covid-19 type that scientists worry would jeopardize attempts to contain the pandemic.
The announcement that a new variety, more contagious than the Delta and probably more resistant to vaccines, might inflict a serious damage to the global recovery sent global markets tumbling.
Scientists are currently working feverishly to understand the features and threat posed by the significantly altered strain known as B.1.1.529.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned against implementing further travel restrictions since it could take several weeks to grasp the variety.
“When it comes to applying travel measures, the WHO encourages that nations continue to use a risk-based and scientific approach,” said spokesperson Christian Lindmeier.
Europe is already dealing with a new coronavirus outbreak, and renewed restrictions in some nations have provoked rioting.
Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands all announced travel bans on Friday, joining the United Kingdom.
South Africa was included in all of the bans, as were Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in several cases.
The EU commission stated that it would organize collective action among the bloc’s 27 member states as soon as possible.
As Germany battled a vicious fourth wave of the pandemic, interim health minister Jens Spahn warned, “The last thing we need today is an introduced new strain that causes even more problems.”
The haste to seal off southern Africa comes just one day after experts in Johannesburg announced that the new strain had at least ten mutations, compared to two for Delta.
Authorities in South Africa stated Thursday that the variety was of “severe concern” and has been blamed for a spike in infection numbers.
It had also been discovered among South African travelers in Botswana and Hong Kong.
Israel said it had isolated three people who had all been vaccinated and tested positive for the new type, one of whom had recently returned from Malawi.
The WHO said it was “closely watching” the variant and deciding whether it should be classified as a “interesting” or “concerning” variety.
It was also up to WHO to decide whether the strain should be named after a Greek letter, as previous important variations such as Delta had been.
The European markets tumbled nearly 3% as a result of the change, with airline stocks taking the brunt of the fall. Tokyo ended the day with a loss of 2.53%, after losing more than 3% in the middle of the day.
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