Israel Eyes Travel Ban To Southern Africa, Fearing New COVID Mutation

By Arutz-7
Posted on 11/25/21 | News Source: Arutz-7

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a consultation Thursday night with the Health Minister, the Health Ministry Director General, the Director of the Public Health Services, the national coronavirus project manager and the Defense Ministry Director of Civil Defense on the new coronavirus variant – B.1.1529 – that has been discovered abroad.

Given the spread of the new variant in the countries of southern Africa, Prime Minister Bennett accepted the recommendation of the Health Ministry to define them as red countries.

He also instructed that an immediate evaluation be held on stopping flights from these countries to Israel and vice-versa, or the implementation of a different plan to prevent the variant from spreading to Israel. An additional discussion on the issue will be held later this evening.

The B.1.1529 variant is believed to have originated in southern Africa, with three of the 10 identified cases found in Botswana, six in South Africa, and one in Hong Kong - in a traveler who recently returned from southern Africa.

The new variant has 32 mutations in its spike protein, leading scientists to warn that the variant could be more infectious and better able to evade antibodies.