WHO raises alarm over new South Africa Covid-19 variant

WHO raises alarm over new South Africa Covid-19 variant

World Health Organisation -WHO yesterday announced the recently discovered B.

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529 strain of the coronavirus disease that was detected in Southern Africa as a variant of concern.

READ ALSO: WHO to assess new Covid-19 variant
This variant was classified as “omicron,” and was disclosed in a statement issued by the global health agency on Friday.

 
“Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the WHO has designated B.

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529 a ‘variant of concern’ named ‘OMICON’.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning, preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant as compared to other variants of concern,” the statement read.

 
“We understand that people are concerned, what is really important as an individual is to lower your chances of exposure”.

WHO technical lead on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove said, while urging people to reduce their chances of contracting the virus.


 
Following the detection of the new strain, certain countries across the world have banned flights to Southern Africa.

 
About 50 confirmed cases have been identified in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana.

The confirmed cases in Botswana and Hong Kong were detected among travellers from South Africa.

 
In response to this, Britain banned all travel from the country and five other southern African nations, namely Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe starting at noon local time on Friday.

 
Israel on Thursday announced that it was barring its citizens from travelling to South Africa.

The travel restriction for its citizens also included Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini to its highest-risk travel list.

Belgium and Saudi Arabia have also suspended flights to the Southern African country.

 
According to the analysis of the daily epidemiological trends of the coronavirus in Nigeria has revealed that Nigeria might slip into a fourth wave by the end of December 2021 following the slow rate of vaccination.

 
Experts including the commissioner of health for Lagos State, Professor Akin Abayomi have warned of a possible spike during the festive period.

 
However, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control continues to advocate for mass vaccination and adherence to public health protocols immediately.

 
Oluchi Okwuego/punch
WHO raises alarm over new South Africa Covid-19 variant

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