(MENAFN- Bangladesh Monitor) Dhaka: The UAE on November 26 suspended inbound flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini over new Covid-19 variant concerns. The travel ban will take effect from November 29.
The move was announced by the General Civil Aviation Authority, the Supreme Council for National Security and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.
Following the announcement from Covid‑19 Command and Control Centre (CCC), Dubai's flag carrier Emirates has suspended inbound passenger flights from seven South African nations.
However, outbound flights from Dubai to these countries will not be affected. Passengers travelling to these countries can continue to fly as booked.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated a new Covid-19 variant detected in South Africa with a large number of mutations as being 'of concern', the fifth variant to be given the designation.
The WHO said in a statement that it had assigned the B.1.1.529 variant the Greek letter Omicron.
South Africa has confirmed around 100 specimens as B.1.1.529, but the variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong case a traveller from South Africa.
The discovery of the new variant sent a chill through much of the world on November 26 as nations raced to halt air travel and scientists held emergency meetings to weigh the exact risks, which were largely unknown.
Medical experts, including the World Health Organisation, warned against any overreaction before the variant that originated in southern Africa was better understood.
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