Many countries are still under tight restrictions due to a spike in the incidence of the delta strain of coronavirus, and scientists are already reporting the emergence of a new, more dangerous strain of the virus. The new version, designated B.1.1.529, has already been registered in a number of African countries and in Hong Kong (where it was found on a tourist who returned from South Africa).
It is believed that a new strain has emerged in Botswana, and compared to the delta variant, it is more contagious and has an increased ability to mutate. Some experts said it may be resistant to current coronavirus vaccines. South African Health Minister Joe Faala has already officially confirmed the identification of a new variant of the coronavirus. So far, South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana have registered 59 confirmed cases of infection with the new variant of the virus. It is assumed that the mutation that led to the formation of a new strain could have arisen in the body of a person with reduced immunity, probably an HIV-infected person from Botswana.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already described the new strain as “worrying” and set an emergency meeting for November 26.
The authorities of some countries are not wasting their time. Thus, Great Britain and Israel have already limited air traffic with South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini. Israel has additionally banned travel to Mozambique, but, as it became known today, a new strain in the country has already been identified in a citizen who returned from Malawi.
In the UK, apparently, it is still a question of short-term bans. According to the British government, the ban on all direct commercial and private flights from these countries will remain in effect until 04:00 on Sunday 28 November. Everyone who has visited these countries will have to go through quarantine and take PCR tests.
The situation with the previous strain of coronavirus also remains difficult. The total number of cases in the world has exceeded 260 million people, more than five million people have died since the beginning of the pandemic. In Russia, the number of diseases also continues to grow. Yesterday, the headquarters reported 33,796 infected with coronavirus infection per day.