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UK halts flights to six African countries over COVID variant

Britain is halting all flights from South Africa and five other countries in the region in response to the discovery of a highly transmissible new coronavirus variant.

Britain is halting all flights from South Africa and five other countries in the region in response to the discovery of a highly transmissible new coronavirus variant.

READ ALSO: Europe faces 700,000 more Covid deaths: WHO warns

From midday GMT on Friday, direct flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini will be suspended until further notice.

Announcing the restrictions, the British health secretary, Sajid Javid, said it was possible that current vaccines might be less effective against the heavily mutated variant.

No cases have been discovered in the UK.

South African experts say it had spread rapidly among students in Pretoria.

It’s not clear whether the variant is more deadly than previous mutations.

Experts from the World Health Organization are due to meet South African officials on Friday.

WHO due to hold meeting over new Covid variant in South Africa

Meanwhile the World Health Organization (WHO) is due to hold a special meeting on Friday to consider the significance of a rapidly spreading new coronavirus variant in South Africa.

Experts in Geneva will decide whether it should be designated a variant of concern.

A senior WHO official said it could take weeks to establish whether the high number of mutations had implications for the effectiveness of existing vaccines.

It comes as Britain imposes a temporary ban on all flights from South Africa and five neighbouring countries later on Friday.

No cases have been discovered in the UK.

South African experts say the variant has spread rapidly among students in Pretoria.

Source: freedomradiogh.com

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