The executive arm of the European Union said on Friday it would stop air travel from southern Africa to counter the spread of a new type of COVID-19.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a note that “proposes, in close coordination with the Member States, the activation of the emergency brake to stop air travel from the South African region “.
A new type of coronavirus has been discovered in South Africa which, according to scientists, is a cause for concern due to its high number of mutations and its rapid spread among young people in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province.
The fourth wave of coronavirus has hit the European Union of 27 nations very hard, as governments scramble to tighten restrictions in an effort to contain the spread.
The no-fly proposal followed similar action from Britain on Thursday.
The UK has announced it is banning flights from South Africa and five other countries in South Africa starting at noon on a Friday and anyone who had recently arrived from those countries would be required to do a test of the coronavirus.
Germany also said it intends to stop most flights from southern African countries to prevent the spread of the new Corona strain.
Europe is once again the global hub of the epidemic, while the highly contagious delta mutant has reduced the effectiveness of vaccines in curbing disease transmission by 40%, according to the World Health Organization.
The Covid-19 epidemic has killed more than 1.5 million people in Europe, according to an AFP census based on official data.
In total, the virus killed more than 5.16 million people in around the world since late 2019. However, the World Health Organization estimates the pandemic toll could be two to three times higher.
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