Six countries added to red list as UK sounds alarm over new Covid variant

Six African countries have banned travel due to a new strain of the virus that causes Covid-19, which officials have called “the worst we have ever seen”.

UK officials sounded the alarm Thursday night on version B.1.1.529, which has the potential to prevent immunizations or early infections.

Health Author Sajid Javid said the new known South African species “could be more infectious” than the Delta species and “the vaccines we have will not be effective”.

This is the worst change we have ever seen

He said flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe would be suspended from noon on Friday and all six countries would be added to the red list.

Although no cases have been reported in Britain, officials have complained about the rapid rise in crime in South Africa.

Anyone who has come from this country in the last 10 days will be invited to come and be tested by the UK Health Security Agency.

Currently, about 500 and 700 people travel to the UK from South Africa every day, but more is expected to start.

Javid said: “The first signs we have of this species are that they can be more contagious than the Delta species and the vaccines we have may not be very effective against them.

“Now to make it clear, we have not found any other genre in the UK yet.

“But we have always said we will do something to protect the progress we have made.

“Therefore, what we are doing from tomorrow afternoon will be suspending all flights from six countries, southern Africa and we will add those countries to the red list. Those countries are South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana. We want everyone who they have come from those countries from 4 o’clock on Sunday to stay in hotels.

“If someone has already arrived, they should isolate themselves at home and get tested for PCR on the second and eighth day. If someone has come from other countries in the last 10 days, we will ask them to get tested for PCR.”

The difference has not been dubbed “alarming” in the UK, but a senior UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) expert said: “This is the worst type we have ever seen.”

Only 59 cases have been confirmed in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

These mutants have more than 30 mutations – twice as long as the Delta genus – which can make them more susceptible to transmission and prevention of previous infections or vaccines.

UKHSA experts have been advising the minister on the matter.

Several scientists have shown significant involvement in this evolution due to the high levels of mutations in spike proteins.

One of the leading scientists said: “One of our concerns is that the protein containing the virus is very different from the virus that was still in Wuhan’s original case, which is why our vaccine, has a great cause for concern.”

Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) met with South African officials on Friday to assess the situation in the country.

The color was given to the moniker “Nu” – with colors closely related to the Greek alphabet.

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