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‘Air travel with South Africa to be suspended’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 28 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
‘Air travel with South Africa to be suspended’

The government is going to  suspend air travels with South Africa amid the growing concerns over the detection of a new variant of coronavirus in the country.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque revealed the decision while talking to the media on Saturday.

“We are aware of the South African variant. This variant is very aggressive. That is why communications with South Africa will be suspended,” he said.

“The screening process has been further strengthened at all airports and land ports on the instructions from the health ministry.”

The instructions have been given at the district level to be stricter in adhering to hygiene rules, including wearing masks, across the country.

Adequate precautions will also be taken for those arriving to Bangladesh from other countries, the minister added.

The new strain of coronavirus was first identified in South Africa last Tuesday. The World Health Organization has named the variant ‘Omicron’.

The new variant has already been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

It was said that of all the new strains of the new coronavirus that have been identified since its arrival in Wuhan, China, Omicron has been the most mutated.

This means that the coronavirus vaccines that have been developed so far may not be effective in omicron. Again, due to changes in the gene pattern, the virus may have the ability to spread much faster.