Scientists worried new ‘worst’ COVID variant could make vaccines 40% less effective

Scientists sound alarm over new ‘worst’ super-mutant COVID variant that could make vaccine at least 40 percent less effective as UK and Israel ban travel from South Africa and five other African countries, but travelers to the US keep flowing in

  • Britain’s health secretary announced on Thursday that flights to six southern African countries would be halted amid concerns over a new COVID-19 version
  • Flights to and from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will remain suspended from Friday afternoon
  • Israel followed suit on Thursday, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett adding six plus Mozambique to a list of ‘red’ countries, essentially barring Israelis from traveling to seven countries.
  • This move is in response to a variant, b.1.1.529, which has a ‘very unusual constellation’ of mutations.
  • The new version, known as the Botswana version and may be officially named Nu, is of concern to scientists because it is believed to evade the body’s immune response and be more permeable. could.
  • There are no direct flights to the US from any of the seven countries except South Africa, which has 13 flights a week.

Thousands are landing in the United States South Africa Every week, in spite of a new COVID-19 Such is the concern that Britain and Israel effectively halted travel from the region on Thursday.

The variant is mainly found in Botswana – from where there are no direct flights to the US – and also in neighboring South Africa.

United Airlines currently operates direct flights to and from Johannesburg. New York City Seven days a week, departing at 10 p.m. with 16-hour flights and arriving in Newark at 7 a.m.

United also operates direct flights from Cape Town to New York City three times a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

United flies Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which can carry 290 people.

Delta operates direct flights from Johannesburg to Atlanta on Saturdays, Mondays and Thursdays.

They use the Airbus A350-900, which can seat 300 to 350 people.

On Thursday Britain’s health secretary, Sajid Javid, sounded the alarm for what he called the ‘worst’ super-mutant COVID variant.

A baby cries in Dipslut township near Johannesburg, South Africa on October 21 as his mother receives the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19

He said it could make vaccines at least 40 percent less effective, and as a result he said he banned flights from South Africa and five other regional countries.

Experts previously described how the b. variant has more than 30 mutations – the most ever recorded in one variant and twice the delta – which suggests that it is more likely than any earlier variant. Can be more jab-resistant and permeable.

The variant – which may be named ‘Nu’ by the World Health Organization in the coming days – has caused an ‘exponential’ increase in infections in South Africa and has already spread to three countries – including Hong Kong and Botswana. where it is believed to emerge.

In response, Javid announced that flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe would be suspended starting Friday afternoon and all six countries would be added to the red list.

No cases have been reported in the UK so far, but everyone who has returned from South Africa in the last 10 days will be contacted and asked to be tested.