Britain imposes travel ban on South Africa, as scientists discover new variant of Covid-19

FG investigating claims of detection of UK mutant Coronavirus in Nigeria – PTFA new variant of the coronavirus, which appears to be more transmissible, has been discovered in South Africa and is being blamed for a new surge in Covid-19 cases in the UK.

Britain has imposed travel restrictions on South Africa after two cases of the transmissible variant of coronavirus were detected in the UK.

British Health Secretary, Matt Hancock says both people travelled to South Africa where the variant has been linked to a surge in cases. Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, Guatemala and Saudi Arabia are among a growing list of countries that had earlier stopped flights to and from South Africa.

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Although it emerged independently, the new virus variant features a similar mutation to the one discovered in the United Kingdom that scientists say is more transmissible, prompting many nations to ban travel from Britain.

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South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, said that the new variant there, referred to as 501.V2, appeared to be linked to higher rates of severe illness in younger people, and that scientists are working to learn more about it.

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“It’s very important to notice that the variants between South Africa and the UK. They are very different,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

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“Both of us, in South Africa and the UK, believe that this lineage is much more transmissible than the previous lineage. And we are trying to study that as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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