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Israel detects its first case of new, highly mutated COVID-19 strain

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26.11.2021

The first case of a new, highly mutated coronavirus variant that first emerged in South Africa was detected in Israel on Friday, the Health Ministry announced, a development that experts have been fearing.

The person was identified as an Israeli who had returned from Malawi.

The ministry said two others were suspected of also being infected with the new strain, currently known by its scientific name B.1.1.529, and were awaiting final test results.

All three were vaccinated, the ministry said, adding that their inoculation details were still being verified.

The development came despite efforts to prevent the strain from reaching Israel. On Thursday evening, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ordered that several countries in southern Africa be labeled “red,” heavily restricting entry from them.

South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini were added to the list of countries from which foreigners are barred entry to Israel.

The list had been empty for some six weeks, as no country had fallen into the Health Ministry’s ‘red’........

© The Times of Israel


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