More European countries have moved to impose a travel ban on South Africa following the detection of the new Covid-19 variant called B.1.1.529.
Germany and Italy have joined the UK ban while the European Union considers to activate an emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region.
Pretoria has said that Britain’s decision seemed rush as the World Health Organization (WHO) hasn’t even advised on the next steps. International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor says they are concern about the damage this temporary travel ban could have on the tourism industries and businesses in both countries.
The minister says they will engage the UK government with the aim of persuading them to reconsider the move.
There is little known about the variant which is suspected to be driving a spike in infections in Gauteng. The variant which has over 30 mutations has been found in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong. Apartheid Israel has also now reported that it’s detected a case of the B.1.1.529 variant.
Scientists are concern that the variant could be highly transmissible and resistant to immunisation.
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