UK adds six African countries to COVID red-list

Britain on Thursday said it was concerned by a newly identified coronavirus variant spreading in South Africa that might make vaccines less effective and imperil efforts to fight the pandemic.The UK Health Security Agency said the variant, which is called B.1.1.529, has a spike protein that was dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based on.

The variant was first identified at the start of this week, but Britain rushed to introduce travel restrictions on South Africa and five neighbouring countries, acting much more swiftly than with the currently dominant Delta variant.

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