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UK Restricts Travel to South Africa After Discovery of New Coronavirus Variant

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This means commercial flights to those countries will be temporarily banned and UK or UK resident travelers returning from affected locations will need to be quarantined regardless of their vaccination status.

The countries concerned by the measure, all located in the southern part of the African continent, are:

The move came after a study showed the growth of a variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid, in countries like Botswana and South Africa. This variant has more mutations in the proteins that adhere to the virus to human cells and was more prevalent in the affected regions than the delta, which today predominates around the world..

See how the coronavirus variants appear in the VIDEO below

While there is surveillance to assess whether these new strains escape vaccine-conferred immunity or previous infection, so far there is NO data to report such a scenario.

So far, this variant has only been detected in South Africa, Botswana and in a passenger from Hong Kong who had traveled to the region. There is no record of this form of the virus in the UK, Brazil or other countries, but, as a precaution, UK authorities will be monitoring people who have arrived from South Africa in recent days.

Southern African countries have very low vaccination rates and pressure international bodies for vaccine distribution. In South Africa, for example, even 30% of the population is not fully immune to the coronavirus. In Botswana, only 20% took the necessary doses.

For now, all vaccines are effective in preventing Covid-19 and especially the most serious cases and deaths due to the disease. In addition, vaccination prevents the emergence of new strains of concern.

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