PE Ledger

Canada has put travel restrictions on seven African countries due to the new Covid strain

New Covid strain: According to Canada’s health minister, the restrictions will affect travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Ottawa:

Concerns over the expanse of a new Covid-19 strain prompted Canada to impose travel restrictions on seven African countries on Friday.

According to Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, the measures would affect travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, making Canada one of a number of countries to apply such limits on Friday.

“We’re moving rapidly to defend Canadians’ health and safety,” Duclos explained.

The World Health Organization had previously designated the recently identified B.1.1.529 Covid-19 strain as a “variant of concern,” designating it Omicron.

“We know very few details about this variant right now,” Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said, “including how transmissible it is, whether it affects the severity of sickness, or what influence it has on the vaccine.”

“However, we’re taking this cautious approach since there are so many mutations in specific sections of the genome,” she explained.

From the seven countries named in the new limitations, there are no direct flights to Canada.

Indirect travellers from the region will be forced to get a negative Covid-19 test before flying and will be quarantined for fourteen days once they arrive in Canada.

The restrictions will last until January 31 while officials “evaluate the unfolding situation,” according to Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra.

South Africa was the first to report the Omicron variant to the WHO on November 24.

It has since been found in a person returning from Malawi in Israel, as well as in Botswana, Belgium, and Hong Kong.

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