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The global focus of the epidemic.. Accelerated measures in Europe and the Health Organization meet to determine the seriousness of the new mutation

European countries are tightening measures to confront an accelerating rise in infections with the Corona virus, and the task is becoming increasingly difficult after the emergence of a new mutation detected in South Africa and prompting Britain to close its borders to arrivals from 6 African countries.

And the European Commission said on Friday morning that it was proposing to suspend flights from southern Africa, in order to precaution against this new mutant that scientists are seeking to determine the extent of its danger.

In the wake of tightening procedures in France and the death toll from the Covid-19 epidemic rising to more than 100,000 in Germany, the neighboring Netherlands and Belgium are preparing to make decisions that are sometimes difficult for the population to accept, especially in the Netherlands.

During a press conference scheduled for Friday evening, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to announce early closing dates for bars and restaurants to be 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT) instead of 20:00 at the present time, according to media reports. local.

And riots were recorded in this country – which is still monitoring more than 22,000 new infections daily – especially in Rotterdam and The Hague, following the adoption of partial closure measures with a series of health restrictions. The government also intends to ban the entry of unvaccinated people into designated places such as bars and restaurants.

In Belgium, Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo stressed that the rise in the number of infections and hospitalizations linked to Covid was “higher than the more pessimistic trends” identified by scientific experts last week.

He called an urgent meeting Friday of the country’s provincial officials to decide on imposing new measures. Last Monday, daily injuries in Belgium recorded a record level since the outbreak of the epidemic last year, reaching 23,621 cases.

Fifth wave

Europe has again become the global epicenter of the epidemic, as the delta mutant reduces the effectiveness of vaccines in containing infection by 40%, according to the World Health Organization. The pandemic has killed more than 1.5 million people in Europe, out of more than 5 million and 160,000 deaths recorded worldwide since the end of 2019.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned that infections with the Corona virus will rise in December and January unless urgent measures are taken to confront the infection.

For her part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the escalation in the number of injuries and deaths due to the pandemic as “extremely dangerous”, and called for further restrictions.

Her possible successor, Olaf Scholz, also described the situation as “very accurate”, after the country recorded the largest statistics of injuries and deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with cases reaching more than 75 thousand injuries per day, and the total deaths exceeding 100 thousand cases.

On the other hand, Britain announced yesterday, Thursday, that it will prevent travelers from 6 African countries from entering its lands due to a new mutated version of the Corona virus that South Africa has detected, and is likely to be more contagious than its predecessors.

And British Health Minister Sajid Javid said that the ban will include all flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana, as of Friday noon, and indicated that vaccines may not be effective against this mutant, which he called B1.1529.

And the British Health Security Agency said that the mutant that appeared in South Africa poses the greatest challenge since the beginning of the epidemic, and explained that this mutant has the ability to transform twice that of the delta mutant that was discovered in India. She indicated that it has a protein that differs significantly from that of the original Corna virus.

The new mutant

For its part, the World Health Organization said that it is closely following the new mutation and will hold a meeting today, Friday, to determine its danger.

Scientists said that it is necessary to conduct laboratory studies to assess the possibilities that the new mutations lead to a significant decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines.

South Africa said that it had recorded 22 cases of the new mutant among young people, and cases were also recorded in neighboring Botswana, as well as in Hong Kong, in a person returning from South Africa.

On the other hand, the Moroccan authorities decided on Thursday to suspend flights for travelers to and from France, starting from Sunday until further notice.

In a statement published by the official news agency, a specialized ministerial committee said that this decision was made “to confront the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in some European neighboring countries”, in addition to “preserving the gains that Morocco has accumulated in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The committee indicated that the decision was supposed to enter into force at 22:59 GMT on Friday night, but it was decided to postpone it to Sunday to facilitate the process of returning Moroccan citizens and foreigners residing in Morocco.

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Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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