from the Brazilian Agency
Global authorities responded with concern on Friday (26) to a new type of novel coronavirus that was discovered in South Africa. Scientists are trying to determine if the mutation is resistant to vaccines.
The UK has banned flights from South Africa and neighboring countries and has asked British travelers returning from these locations to quarantine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU also intends to halt air traffic in the region.
Scientists are studying the specific alternative this week, but the news has roiled stock and oil markets amid fears of what the travel ban could do to South Africa’s already shaky economies.
Britain’s Health Security Agency said the variant contains a spike protein that is significantly different from the original coronavirus protein, on which Covid-19 vaccines are based, raising concerns about the success of current vaccines. Against the more common delta variant, it would be. .
“As scientists describe it, this is the most significant option they have discovered so far,” British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News.
The World Health Organization is holding a meeting today in Geneva. WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said experts will discuss the risks posed by the alternative and whether it should be considered a concern or concern.
Lindmeier added that nearly 100 sequences of the variant have already been reported, and preliminary analysis shows it contains a “large number of mutations” that require further study.
The epidemiologist said the tightening of travel restrictions may be too late.
“I think we have to admit that this virus is probably already elsewhere,” said Ben Cowling of the University of Hong Kong. “So if we close the door now, it’s probably too late.”
The Foreign Ministry in Pretoria said South Africa would speak with British officials to try to persuade them to reconsider the ban.
The variant, called B.1.1.529, was found in Botswana and Hong Kong, according to the UK’s Health Security Agency.
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