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Nu variant: UK shuts down all flights from southern Africa as dangeorus ‘super-variant’ spreads

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South Africa has been added to the red list for travel to the UK – as health officials scramble to stop the new Covid “super-variant”.

B.1.1.529, which is expected to be renamed Nu, has rapidly spread throughout South Africa in recent days.

It is believed that the variant can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines by up to 30%.

There have been 100 cases of the Nu variant in South Africa, but officials believe that there is many more after a surge in the Gauteng province.

A handful of cases have been reported in Botswana and Hong Kong

One expert described the variant as “the worst one we’ve seen so far”, and it is thought to have the potential to evade immunity, the BBC report.

A South African director at the Centre of Epidemic Response and Innovation said: “This new variant, B.1.1.529 seems to spread very quick! In less than 2 weeks now dominates all infections following a devastating Delta wave in South Africa. We estimate that 90% of the cases in Gauteng (at least 1000 a day are this variant, due to qPCR proxy testing”

So far, no cases have been recorded in the UK or Ireland.

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