The Israeli Ministry of Health reported this Friday morning that the new variant of COVID-19, B.1.1529 detected in South Africa, has been found in a traveler from Malawi, while there are two other people from abroad with suspicions of being infected with it.
The three cases they are vaccinated people, although their immunization data is being verified, indicated the Ministry of Health in a statement.
The two suspected cases are undergoing genetic testing to verify the sequence of the COVID-19 variant, while remaining in isolation.
Israel vetoed the entry of travelers from seven southern African countries –South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini- after the appearance there of a new variant B.1.1529 of COVID-19, highly mutable.
Following a meeting with the coronavirus cabinet, The Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Benet, ordered last night that these countries be included in the “red list”, where at the moment there were none.
Measure prohibits the entry of foreigners from those six countries, and Israelis who want to return will have to isolate themselves in a state-run hotel for a week and will be released after receiving two negative PCR tests, Benet clarified last night in a statement.
“I instruct for an immediate assessment to be carried out on the stopping of flights from these countries to Israel and vice versa, or the implementation of a different plan to prevent the variant from spreading to Israel.“Said the prime minister.
South African scientists revealed Thursday that had detected a new variant of COVID-19 with “a very high number of mutations”, which is attributed an “exponential” increase in infections there.
Daily infections in South Africa have increased tenfold since the beginning of the month.
In israel yesterday 543 new cases were detected, 0.7% of the total tests carried out, and there are 120 people hospitalized in serious condition, of which 85% are unvaccinated.
Experts from the Ministry of Health warned that the transmission rate in Israel in the last ten days has been 1.08 -exceeding the threshold of 1, which marks an increase in cases- and that it would be necessary to impose new restrictions if 1.2 is reached
Since the start of the pandemic, several variants have emerged. An underlying concern about the new variants is whether will hamper progress against the pandemic or if limit the effectiveness of the vaccine. South African scientists will meet with the technical team of the World Health Organization this Friday, where the authorities will assign you a letter of the Greek alphabet.
The Botswana Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement that four cases of the new variant were detected in people who were fully vaccinated.. All four were tested before their respective planned trips. A sample was also detected in Hong Kong, transported by a traveler from South AfricaSouth African scientists said.
With over 1,200 new infections, South Africa’s daily infection rate is much lower than in Germany, where new cases are driving a new wave. Nevertheless, the density of mutations in this new variant raises fears that it could be highly contagious, prompting scientists to raise the alarm early.
(With information from EFE)