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UK bans travel from South Africa after emergence of new heavily-mutated Covid-19 variant


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South Africa recorded a new Covid-19 variant with ‘a high number of mutations’ on November 25, 2021. The strain, which has the scientific designation B.1.1.529, has at least 10 mutations, compared to two for Delta and three for Beta. Concerns over transmissibility and vaccine effectiveness on the new variant has prompted the United Kingdom to impose a travel ban on six southern African countries. In Hong Kong, a patient whose ‘selfish’ valve mask was blamed for a cross infection in a quarantine hotel, has also been found to be carrying the new B.1.1.529 variant. Experts are still trying to determine whether it is more transmissible and lethal than other Covid-19 strains.

Related story:
South Africa detects new coronavirus variant, prompting UK travel ban

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