As the World Health Organization held an emergency conference, South Africa criticised the British embargo on flights from six southern African nations over a new COVID-19 subtype.
The B.1.1.529 variation has been found in relatively small numbers, mostly in South Africa but also in Botswana, Hong Kong, and Israel, but scientists are concerned about its large number of mutations, which might make it resistant to vaccines and more easily transmitted.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Trade have announced that South Africa would try to persuade Britain to rethink its limitations, and an advisory board has been set up for Sunday to review evidence.
Tourism and business in both nations would suffer as a result, foreign minister Naledi Pandor said in a statement.
By the end of the trading day, South African hospitality stocks had plunged by as much as 2 percent versus the dollar.
After barring flights from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, the UK stated the variety was the most important one discovered yet. “Of worry,” remarked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter, when asked about the EU’s plans to curtail aviation traffic from the region..
On Friday, a WHO working committee on viral evolution will meet to debate whether to officially grant it that moniker, which has only been awarded to four varieties thus far. However, it might be weeks before scientists fully comprehend the mutations’ effects.
British and Irish golfers withdrew from the Johannesburg Open after two Welsh rugby teams raced to leave South Africa for a competition.
This is what Botswana has stated: that all four instances were foreigners who had arrived on a diplomatic assignment but had since departed the country. Although it didn’t specify which nation they were from, contact-tracing was taking place.