January 25, 2022

Belgium, the first European country to announce a case of the new variant detected in South Africa

“It is a suspect variant, we do not know if it is a very dangerous variant”, underlined the Belgian Minister of Health.

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A case of the new variant of Covid-19, first detected in South Africa and absent from Europe so far, has been identified in Belgium, Belgian Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke revealed on Friday November 26. “We have a case that is now confirmed of this variant. It is about someone who (…) tested positive on November 22” and “who was not vaccinated”, he told reporters. This person, who arrived on Belgian soil on November 11, “came from Egypt and transited through Turkey”, specified the minister’s office.

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The first detection of this new variant, potentially very contagious, was announced Thursday in South Africa. “It’s a suspect variant, we don’t know if it’s a very dangerous variant”, underlined Frank Vandenbroucke. A little earlier in the day, the French Minister of Health Olivier Véran, traveling to Brest, had indicated that this new variant had “not diagnosed in Europe to date “.

To prevent its spread, several European countries decided on Friday to suspend flights from southern Africa, other nations, such as Japan, establishing a quarantine. The European Commission must propose in the afternoon to the Member States to activate the emergency brake to interrupt air travel from southern Africa.