Highlights

  • New Covid variant: UK stops flights from six African countries
  • New Covid variant detected in South Africa, WHO calls meet
  • WHO: B.1.1.529 variant has a large number of mutations,

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UK stops flights from 6 African countries over new Covid variant fears

The UK govt's precautionary move came hours after the World Health Organization gave a briefing on the new Covid variant

The United Kingdom has suspended flights from six African countries as a new Covid variant with more than 30 mutations spreads in South Africa.

The UK govt's precautionary move came hours after the World Health Organization gave a briefing on the new variant. The organization called for a special meeting on Friday to further study the variant detected in South Africa.

In addition to South Africa, the countries of Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana are included in the new restrictions, the UK govt said.

Also read: New Covid-19 variant detected in South Africa

The variant, called B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa in small numbers, but has a large number of mutations, according to the WHO.

The newly detected variant arrives as infection levels remain high in countries across the world. In Europe, Austria and Italy announced new restrictions in recent days aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

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