London, November 26, : In the wake of warnings about a new coronavirus variant a number countries, including the UK and Israel, have taken steps to restrict Travel from South Africa.According to The New York Times, Travel restrictions have been issued by governments in the past for days, weeks, or months in response to new variants.
The restrictions were placed within hours of the South African authorities identifying a new coronavirus variant with mutations.They also came hours before the World Health Organisation (WHO) was scheduled to discuss the variant.
The threat of a new variant meant that the UK and Israel would ban flights from South Africa and other neighbouring countries on Thursday was the reason for the bans.
The UK’s flight ban is in effect for six countries: South Africa, Botswana Eswatini Lesotho Namibia, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.It began Friday.
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, stated on Twitter that “More data was needed, but we are taking precautions right now.”
According to the report, the governments of Singapore, Malta, and Italy announced Friday that they would impose similar restrictions.
Roberto Speranza, Italy’s Health Minister, stated that “our scientists are at work to examine the new B.1.1.529 variation.” He used the variant’s scientific name in a statement.
European Union’s executive arm President Ursula von der Leyen also stated in a tweet on Friday that it would restrict air Travel to European countries from Southern Africa due to concerns about the variant.
Scientists discovered the variant in South Africa’s economic hub of Johannesburg in the last two days after noticing an increase in infections.
Only a few dozen cases have so far been identified in South Africa and Hong Kong, Israel, Botswana, and Israel.
South Africa posted a statement on Friday on a government site stating that it would ask the UK to reconsider its Travel restrictions.
The statement states that the UK’s decision to ban South Africans temporarily from entering the UK appears to have been made in a hurry, and even the World Health Organization is yet to provide guidance on the next steps.
South Africa was the first country to report the Beta variant’s appearance in December 2012.
It has since spread to almost 70 countries.
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