Angola will close borders with seven African countries – South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe – from December 1st, to try to contain the spread of the new variant of the Covid-19 virus.
The measure was announced this Saturday by the Minister of State and Head of Civil Affairs Office to the President of the Republic, Adão de Almeida, who said that entry of citizens from these countries, by any means, is being temporarily suspended from December 1st.
The measure does not cover national citizens who may eventually return, although flights are being suspended from that date, added the minister, indicating that it will be necessary for returning citizens to observe a 14-day home quarantine.
Several countries, including Portugal, have already applied flight restrictions to several African countries after a new variant of the coronavirus was identified in South Africa: Omicrom. It appears to have a high number of mutations in the virus’ spike protein, prompting worries about how easily it will spread..
The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) warned on Thursday that the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus raises “serious concerns that it may significantly reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections”.
In a statement on the threat assessment of the new variant, and based on genetic information currently available, ECDC said the new variant identified in southern Africa is #the most divergent variant [from the original virus]that has been detected in significant numbers during the pandemic to date”
Covid-19 has caused at least 5,180,276 deaths worldwide, among more than 259.46 million infections by the new coronavirus recorded since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest report by Agence France-Presse.
The disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.Source: Lusa