OREANDA-NEWS. States should not impose travel bans on countries that have reported a new strain of coronavirus B.1.1.529, Mary Stephen, Technical Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, told Izvestia, citing the Organization's International Health Regulations. 

"The number of mutations in the spike protein of the new COVID-19 variant is worrying. WHO is supporting South Africa and Botswana in further research," she said.

According to a representative of the WHO, the infectiousness of the new variant and its ability to resist immunity remain unexplored.
Earlier, the Daily Mail reported that scientists from the UK had warned of the appearance in Botswana of a strain of coronavirus, which contains 32 mutations.

WHO is holding a special meeting on Friday. The organization is monitoring a new variant with dozens of mutations in the spike protein and plans to discuss how this will affect the effectiveness of existing vaccines.

The Virus Evolution Group will discuss the dangers this variant of the coronavirus poses. If the results are cause for concern, he will be given the name of the letter of the Greek alphabet.

Earlier, the authorities of Great Britain and Israel announced the suspension of flights to South African countries due to the discovery of a new strain in Botswana.

The head of the Ministry of Health, Mikhail Murashko, previously stressed that monitoring for the detection of new strains of coronavirus in Russia is ongoing, testing is being carried out for the effectiveness of vaccines against them. The Russian drug "Sputnik V" can be quickly changed for a new strain of coronavirus found in Africa, said the head of the RDIF Kirill Dmitriev.