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Africa CDC Condemns Travel Restrictions Following Emergence Of New Covid-19 Variant

Africa CDC Condemns Travel Restrictions Following Emergence Of New Covid-19 Variant

The Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has frowned at the imposition of a travel ban on people originating from countries that have reported the new variant of Covid-19. Information Guide Nigeria

According to PREMIUM TIMES, Africa Centre for Disease Control said through a statement said: “Over the duration of this pandemic, we have observed that imposing bans on travellers from countries where a new variant is reported has not yielded a meaningful outcome.

“Africa CDC strongly recommends the implementation of public health and social measures (PHSM), including mask-wearing, physical distancing, and handwashing, as crucial to limit the transmission of COVID-19 regardless of the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.”

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PREMIUM TIMES reports that the Agency has advised national health authorities to reinforce PHSM implementation and accelerate immunisation of their populations.

“Public health laboratories and researchers should closely monitor the rate of S gene dropout results. Timely genomic surveillance should be reinforced through coordination with national and regional pathogen genomics laboratories”

According to PREMIUM TIMES, Africa CDC stated that it will support this coordination on the continent through the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative.

Africa CDC advised member states to notify Africa CDC immediately if they identify any new SARS-CoV-2 variant.

“Africa CDC will continue to monitor the situation and provide further guidance to Member States and the public as more information becomes available about the B.1.1.529 variant.”

According to PREMIUM TIMES, non-African countries including the UK, Israel and the European Union had recently imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and other southern African countries where the new variant was detected.

PREMIUM TIMES reports that on November 25, 2021, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa announced the detection of a new variant of the SARS-COV-2, a virus that causes COVID-19.

This variant which is currently labelled as lineage B.1.1.529 was detected in 77 samples collected between November 12 and 20 from Gauteng province in South Africa, four samples from Botswana and one sample in Hong Kong.

PREMIUM TIMES reports that  B.1.1.529 variant shows multiple mutations across the virus genome, including more than 30 in the region which encodes the spike protein responsible for virus entry into host cells.

According to PREMIUM TIMES, mutations have been detected in previous variants, such as Alpha and Delta, and have been associated with increased transmissibility and immune evasion.

Other identified mutations are have not been properly characterised yet and have not been identified in other currently circulating variants. Jamb Result

PREMIUM TIMES revealed that investigations are still undergoing to determine the impact of these mutations on the capacity of the virus to transmit more efficiently, to impact vaccine effectiveness and evade immune response, and/or to cause more severe or milder disease.

Nigeria and other African countries are yet to impose any travel restrictions.

(PREMIUM TIMES)

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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