Scary New COVID Variant Prompts U.K. to Bar Flights from 6 African Nations
NOT TAKING CHANCES
Britain is suspending flights from six African countries while it assesses the threat posed by a new COVID-19 variant that has what health officials have described as a “horrific” number of variations. The strain—which is known as B.1.1.529 until it is given a Greek alphabet designation—appears to have originated in Botswana and has been detected in at least 100 people in South Africa. “More data is needed but we’re taking precautions now,” Sajid Javid, the U.K.’s secretary of state for health and social care, said on Twitter. In addition to South Africa and Botswana, the ban applies to Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe.