WHO declares international public emergency due to outbreak
After two cases of the new variant were detected in the United Kingdom, six African countries were placed on its red list. Two days later, four more countries in sub-Saharan Africa were added to the red list. People from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Esuatini, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola are now banned from entering the UK.
A day later, the European Union followed the United Kingdom. “The European Commission has today proposed to Member States to activate the emergency travel brake on travel from Southern Africa and other affected countries. All air travel to and from these countries should be suspended until we have a clear understanding of the severity of the mutations of this new variant,” said Ursula von der Leyen, chairwoman of the EU Commission.
Australia and Thailand have since joined the United States, Brazil and Canada in imposing travel bans from southern African countries. Japan, Israel, Morocco, Oman and Jamaica have followed suit.
U.S. and BRAZIL CLOSE BORDERS FOR MALTESE ALERT
In Malta, travel to and from regions with identified cases of the variant will be temporarily banned from midnight Saturday, Chris Fearne, Malta’s deputy prime minister and health minister, said in a tweet Friday.
Israel recorded its first case of the new B.1,1,529 coronavirus variant and the country has announced that seven countries in southern Africa will be placed on a red list. This means that returnees from those countries must quarantine themselves in a designated hotel.
On Thursday night, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he had accepted the Health Ministry’s recommendations to place South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini on a new red list.
Travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho will have to remain in quarantine in government-provided facilities for 10 days from midnight local time on Saturday, November 27.
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Health Minister Sajid Javid also presented the measure to MPs, at the start of a parliamentary debate in which Boris Johnson’s government is seeking to win the backing of dozens of rebel lawmakers from his own party to approve new health measures against the spread of Mycron.Javid explained that the “red list” is being abolished because “it is now less effective in curbing the incursion of Mycron from abroad.” On Monday, the minister said the new variant already accounts for 20% of new cases in the country and 40% in London.Related topicsShare this storyView comments
Botswana makes life miserable for the Kalahari people
European Union governments agreed Friday to armor themselves against the new nu variant of the coronavirus by implementing a simultaneous ban on all flights from South Africa and 6 other countries in the region, where this highly contagious mutation has been detected and is feared to escape vaccines.
“The participants have agreed to urgently impose temporary restrictions on all travel to the EU from the Southern African region, including the suspension of passenger flights from the affected countries,” diplomatic sources have informed.
The governments have also agreed that all Europeans returning from these countries will have to undergo a PCR test and also a quarantine to cut off any possibility of contagion.
Brussels has signed a mega-contract for 1.8 billion doses with Pfizer-BioNTech and another with Moderna for 300 million doses. Both contain variant clauses, but so far they have never had to be adapted as the original formulation was effective against all known mutations, including Delta.