Israel Detects Case Of New Covid Variant From South Africa

Story Highlights
  • Israel has identified a case of a new Covid-19 variant first detected in South Africa.
  • South Africa said they had detected a new Covid-19 variant with a large number of mutations.
  • Israel is the third country apart from Hong Kong and Botswana to report such case.

Jerusalem:¬†Israel has announced a ban on the entry of travellers from seven African countries after a new Covid-19 variant was detected in South Africa. Amid reports of the heavily mutated variant known as B.1.1529, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horwitz on Thursday decided to list South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini as “red countries,”. ¬†Israel is the third country apart from Hong Kong and Botswana to report cases of this variant

“The variant discovered in southern African states has been identified in Israel,” the health ministry said, adding it was recorded “in a person who returned from Malawi,” with “two more cases of people returning from abroad” placed in quarantine. “Foreigners from these countries will not be able to enter Israel,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.

Israeli citizens who return home from trips to these countries will need to stay in a designated quarantine motel for seven days, even if they are fully vaccinated, it said. They will be released after two negative PCR tests. Travellers who refuse to be tested will need to stay in quarantine for 12 days, according to the statement. Scientists in South Africa said they have detected the new COVID-19 variant and are still studying its implications.

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