Mutation in Botswana: The world closes its borders to South Africa – Stock markets “collapse” internationally
New variant of its stem coronavirus in south Africa – is called Botswana mutation, by the media, or even B.1.1.529 – and the borders are closed again: a number of European countries decided today, Friday, to suspend flights from countries in the southern region of Africa, while other countries, such as Japan, imposed quarantine.
The discovery of this potentially more contagious and mutated new strain of the new coronavirus was announced yesterday, Thursday, in South Africa. Despite the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommended that no restrictive travel measures be taken, the Britain, the France and the Netherlands have banned flights from South Africa and five neighboring countries as of noon today.
THE Italy barred anyone staying in southern Africa “for the last 14 days” from entering its territory.
In Asia, the Singapore announced a similar ban on Sunday, with the exception of its citizens and permanent residents.
In Germany, where the limit of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 was exceeded yesterday, Thursday, only German citizens will be allowed to return to the country from tonight and provided that they observe a 14-day quarantine, even if they are vaccinated, announced the outgoing Health Minister Jens Span.
“The last thing we need now is the introduction of a new variant that causes even more problems,” he said. Some hospitals in Germany are saturated and the issue of mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone in the country is on the table, as decided by Austria.
Her government Spain will also suspend flights from South Africa and Botswana, Health Minister Carolina Darias announced.
It is pointed out that the European Commission today recommended the European countries to interrupt air links with countries where SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 has been identified.
Measures for travel to countries on the African continent were taken, on Friday afternoon, by Greece. A little earlier, it became known how the first case of the Botswana mutation in Europe was detected in Belgium.
Cape Town sees “hasty decisions”
These decisions were considered “hasty” by her government South Africa and are a new blow to tourism just before the summer in the southern hemisphere, when wildlife parks and hotels are usually full, AFP reports.
“Our immediate concern is the damage this decision will do to the tourism and business industries,” said the South African foreign minister. Naledi Pantor.
Professionals in the tourism sector in the country agree with him, warning of an “avalanche” phenomenon throughout the economy.
“The situation is evolving very fast”
“The situation is evolving very fast, we want to ensure that we do our best to we are slowing down the transmission of this variant “, a representative of the European Commission told AFP.
It will be needed “weeks“To understand the level of transmissibility and impact of the new strain that was found in South Africa and named B.1.1.529,” said a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO).
So far 22 Outbreaks of B.1.1.529 have been reported, mainly among young people, according to the South African National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). Cases have also been reported in the neighborhood Botswana as in Hong Kong, where a traveler returning from South Africa was diagnosed.
The Israel also announced today a case of the new variant strain: “This is a man who has returned from Malawi”, clarified the Israeli Ministry of Health, expressing fears of “two additional cases” and noting that these are people who have returned from abroad and have been in quarantine.
The three men had been vaccinated against COVID-19, the Israeli ministry added in a statement, without elaborating on the vaccine with which they had been vaccinated and how many doses they had received.
At this stage, South African scientists they do not know on the effectiveness of existing vaccines against the new variant of the virus.
The new mutant strain has an “extremely high” number of mutations and “we can see that it can potentially be transmitted very quickly,” the virologist explained yesterday. Tulio de Oliveira in a press conference given by the South African Ministry of Health.
His team at the KRISO research institute, supported by KwaZulu-Natal University, had already discovered last year the Delta variant strain, which is highly contagious.
In South Africa, officially the country that has hurts more in Africa from the new coronavirus, the 23,8% residents have been fully vaccinated.
“What worries us is that this variation may not only have increased transmission capacity, but also to be able to bypass certain parts of our immune systemSaid another researcher, the professor Richard Lessels.
The German laboratory BioNTech, which cooperates with Pfizer, announced that it expects “within two weeks at the latest” the first results of investigations that will allow it to be clarified whether the new variant strain, located in South Africa, can escape the protection provided by vaccines.
Falling stock markets around the world
Meanwhile, fears raised by the new coronavirus variant, which emerged at a time when health constraints were causing social tensions, falling oil prices and strong falls in the stock markets Around the world, he also points out an extensive AFP telegram transmitted by APE BPE.
The Tokyo lost 2.53% at closing and the Frankfurt and London more than 3% in the opening. The CAC 40 index of its Stock Exchange Paris fell 3.33% at 13:10 Greek time.