Israel suspends flights to seven countries due to new COVID strain with 32 mutations

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 Israel has suspended flights to seven countries due to a new COVID strain with 32 mutations

Seven African countries are classified by Israel as” red ” amid the emergence of a new COVID strain in their region.

Israel on Thursday, November 25, announced the suspension of flights with the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini .

The Jerusalem Post reports this with reference to the statement by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Benet.

All seven African countries are classified as “red” amid the emergence of a new strain of COVID-19 in their region “B.1.1.529 “, which contains 32 mutations in the adhesive protein.

Foreigners from these countries will be prohibited from entering Israel, and Israelis will need to quarantine for a week and pass two COVID tests on their return, even if they are fully vaccinated from coronavirus.

Earlier, a similar decision was also announced in the UK.

“B.1.1.529” contains 32 mutations, a number of which are associated with higher transmissibility and resistance to developed vaccines. Now in the world there are only 59 cases of this COVID-strain, in particular in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana.

Cyril Cohen, head of the immunology laboratory at Bar-Ilan University, noted that this variant contains the largest number of mutations ever recorded. “We are talking about something very different from what we knew until now,” he pointed out.

Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute, also believes that “B.1.1.529” may be more infectious and more resistant to the vaccine than the Delta variant.

“There is not enough information yet, but this variant has more mutations than other variants, and some of them are mutations that confer greater resistance to the vaccine and a better ability to spread, “the researcher explained.

And the director of the Institute of Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, François Ballou, suggested that this COVID strain could develop during a chronic infection in a person with a weakened immune system. possibly in an untreated patient with HIV/AIDS.

“At this stage, it is difficult to guess how infectious he might be. He should now be closely monitored and analyzed, but there is no cause for undue concern, unless in the near future. future frequency of such services teas will not grow, “the expert emphasized.

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