Israel detects a case of the new covid variant discovered in South Africa (official)

The Israeli Health Ministry announced on Friday that it has detected a case of the new variant of covid-19 discovered in South Africa and that scientists say is spreading rapidly.

“The variant discovered in the southern African states has been identified in Israel. It is a person who came from Malawi,” the ministry said, stating that it feared there would be “two additional cases of people arriving from abroad” and that they are already confined.

These three people were already vaccinated against the coronavirus, the ministry said in its statement.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called an emergency meeting with health officials this Friday to analyze the situation and the risks.

The Israeli government has already included South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) on its health red list after the announcement of the discovery of the new variant.

For now, the variant is called B.1.1.529 and appears to be highly contagious, according to South African scientists. It is not known whether the vaccines being applied are effective against this alteration of the virus.

mib-gl / tp / bl / zm

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