PM Says New COVID Variant From South Africa Is 'Not A Concern'

WHO monitoring the situation

Article heading image for PM Says New COVID Variant From South Africa Is 'Not A Concern'

The United Kingdom have introduced new travel restrictions for South Africa and other African countries, after a new COVID variant was detected.

The World Health Organisation is monitoring the impact of the new strain, which was first detected in Botswana.

There is urgent concern overseas, as Britain gear up to impose specific border bans.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said "the early indications we have of the variant is it may be more transmissible than the Delta variant, and the vaccines we currently have may be less effective against it".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed international concerns, saying authorities are monitoring the situation.

"I am advised that is under investigation and not a variant of concern. But that can change. We monitor all of these variants," he said.

"We note the responses that are made by other countries and we consider those in real-time.

"What is more important is the best protection against any variants, and those that are present, is vaccination."

Health Minister Greg Hunt says no plan has been made to alter travel restrictions with South Africa, due to no case being identified locally.

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26 November 2021

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