The British government has imposed travel ban on 6 southern African countries amidst warnings over a new coronavirus variant. The new variant has set alarm bell ringing given its deadly nature.
British Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted, “COVID-19 UPDATE: @UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency) is investigating a new variant. More data is needed but we’re taking precautions now. From noon tomorrow six African countries will be added to the red list, flights will be temporarily banned, and UK travellers must quarantine.”
The UK has temporarily suspended flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
According to reports, COVID varialnt B.1.1.529 has the potential to evade immunity even amongst those fully vaccinated.
Close to 60 cases have been reported in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana so far. They include three in Botswana, around 53 in South Africa and one in Hong Kong from someone who had travelled from South Africa.
Experts say that the good news is that the number of cases reported so far is significantly low and the variant can be detected by a simply PCR test.
In India, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he hoped to meet his officials to prepare India’s national capital in view of the discovery of the new variant. “In view of the threat from new COVID variant from African countries, we have requested experts to make a presentation to DDMA on Mon and suggest what steps we shud take. We will take all steps necessary to protect u and ur family,” he tweeted.
Delhi had seen countless deaths during the second COVID wave in India this year. Dead bodies were seen lying in the queue outside crematorium grounds. Local residents had struggled to get hold of oxygen as the healthcare system simply collapsed.
Industrialist Naveen Jindal had risen to the occasion by delivering liquid oxygen to hospitals around the country from his steel plants.