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Australia bans southern Africa flights over virus concerns



Australia bans southern Africa flights over virus concerns

Australia banned flights from nine southern African countries on Saturday, tightening its borders to prevent entry of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant.

Non-Australians who visited South Africa, Zimbabwe and several other nations in the past fortnight will also be excluded from Australia, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

Citizens and residents traveling from the countries included in the list will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days.

“These are strong, swift, decisive and immediate actions,” Hunt told the media in Canberra.

The variant, which has a large number of mutations, was first detected on November 9.

Scientists are quick to understand how it behaves, but there are fears that the strain is more transmissible or that existing vaccines are less effective.

The World Health Organization listed Omicron as a variant of concern and said it could take several weeks to know if there are significant changes in transmissibility, severity or implications for Covid vaccines, tests and treatments.

Source Credit: TheGuardian

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