TFW: New variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in South Africa

A new variant of the coronavirus, which appears to be more transmissible, has been discovered in South Africa and is being blamed for a new surge in COVID-19 cases there.

Though it emerged independently, it features a similar mutation to the new variant discovered in the United Kingdom that scientists say is more transmissible, prompting many nations to ban travel from Britain.

South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, said that the new variant there appeared to be linked to higher rates of severe illness in younger people, and that scientists are working to learn more about it.

Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are among countries that have stopped flights to and from South Africa.

On Wednesday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that two cases of a new variant of coronavirus from South Africa had been detected in Britain. He announced that anyone who had been to South Africa in the last to weeks must quarantine immediately.

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