First European case of Botswana variant found in Belgium

26-11-2021 Fri 23:10 IST | IANS | Health
First European case of Botswana variant found in Belgium

New Delhi, Nov 26:  The first European case of the new ultra-infectious and vaccine-resistant Botswana variant has been confirmed in Belgium, with experts in the UK warning that it could be there already, the Daily Mail reported.

Passengers flying to the Netherlands from South Africa were barred from getting off the plane on Friday as the continent tightened its borders in an attempt to shut out the strain, which scientists have described as the 'worst variant ever'.

Yet, British arrivals from the variant's epicentre, Johannesburg, were left to mingle with hundreds of other passengers as they flew into Heathrow on the last flights out of Africa before the red list was re-imposed at midday. Passengers revealed they were not tested or questioned about their travel history, the report said.

In a sombre statement to MPs in the House of Commons on Friday morning, the UK Health Secretary said the new B.1.1.529 strain -- which has been spotted in Europe -- posed a 'substantial risk to public health' and described its ultra-transmissibility and vaccine-dodging abilities as of 'huge international concern'.

Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), had earlier raised the prospect of lockdown curbs being reintroduced, warning that people must be braced for a 'change in restrictions' if the variant spreads to the UK, the report added.

Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor to the UK's Health and Security Agency (UKHSA), warned that it is 'possible' that the strain has already entered Britain.

She said "people are arriving every day" to the UK from Belgium, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel, where the variant has been officially detected.

Around 10,000 people have arrived from South Africa alone in the last two weeks since the strain was first detected, the report added.


More News
Covid spurt in Telangana police department, secretariat
45 minutes ago
At 7,000, Andhra records big spike in daily Covid count
56 minutes ago
KL Rahul to open for India in SA ODIs in Rohit's absence
1 hour ago
Controversial AP minister to attend 'Bangarraju' success bash
3 hours ago
For 2nd year in a row, no Chief Guest at R-Day parade
3 hours ago
Telangana for reducing interval between second, precautionary doses
3 hours ago
4 Maoists gunned down on Telangana-Chhattisgarh border
3 hours ago
R-Day celebrations begin from Jan 23, visitor numbers curtailed
3 hours ago
Taliban policies turning Afghan women into virtual prisoners in their homes
3 hours ago
Ram Gopal Varma on celeb divorces: 'Nothing murders love faster than marriage'
3 hours ago
K.V. Vijayendra Prasad to pen story, screenplay for Sri Vaari Films' third production
5 hours ago
Shikhar Dhawan plays flute, Prithvi Shaw raps on 'The Kapil Sharma Show'
5 hours ago
Meta appoints e-com director for India market
5 hours ago
Tributes paid to NTR on his death anniversary
5 hours ago
Coffee Day Enterprises stock up by 70% in 7 days
5 hours ago
Moto Tab G70 LTE with MediaTek Helio G90T SoC launched in India
5 hours ago
Keerthy Suresh recovers from Covid
5 hours ago
Too soon to say Omicron will end pandemic: Fauci
5 hours ago
Get data on starvation deaths, frame model scheme for community kitchens: SC to Centre
5 hours ago
Trivikram, Mahesh Babu's '#SSMB28' to go on floors soon
6 hours ago