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Israel restricts travel to southern Africa via the new COVID-19 variant

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When vaccination of all persons over the age of 18 begins on August 20, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa, people will line up outside the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Vaccination Center. REUTERS / MikeHutchings / File Photo

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Jerusalem, November 25 (Reuters)-Israel announced on Thursday that it would ban citizens from traveling to southern Africa and ban foreigners from the region. Detection of new COVID-19 mutant by South African scientists..

Southern Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini have been added to Israel’s “red” or highest risk travel list, reflecting coronavirus infection rates abroad.

Israelis are prohibited from traveling to countries on the “red” list without special permission from the Israeli Ministry of Health.

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In a statement announcing the measures, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office stated that citizens of seven southern African countries were not eligible to enter Israel.

Israelis returning from these countries will need to spend 7-14 days at the quarantine hotel upon arrival.

Scientists told reporters at a South African press conference that this variant, called B.1.1.529, has a “very rare constellation” mutation that avoids the body’s immune response. It may help increase contagiousness, he said. read more

South Africa has identified about 100 specimens as B.1.1.529, but this variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong, in the case of Hong Kong, a traveler from South Africa.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Israel has recorded 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, killing more than 8,000 people.

According to the Ministry of Health, about 57% of Israel’s population of 9.4 million is fully vaccinated.

The fourth wave of infectious diseases that hit Israel in June began to subside in September. However, in the last two weeks, the virus’R’, which has been below 1 for two months, that is, the replication rate, has begun to rise and is now above that threshold, allowing the virus to spread exponentially again. Indicates that there is sex.

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Report by Jeffrey Heller; edited by Daniel Wallis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters trusts the principles.

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