By Canisius Mushibwe
A new strain of COVID-19 named B.1.1.529, is the latest variant discovered and spreading in South Africa.
The United Kingdom has halted flights from South Africa and five other African countries due to the discovery of a new highly transmissible coronavirus variant.
British health secretary, Sajid Javid, said it is likely that a recent variant could make the vaccines ineffective against it.
Direct flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini have since been suspended since Friday midday GMT till further notice.
The halting of flights has happened despite the UK not recording any cases of the mutant virus.
South African experts say the new variant spread rapidly among students in Pretoria. However, It’s uncertain whether the rapid mutation is more deadly than previous ones.
The World Health Organization (WHO) experts are scheduled to meet South African officials this Friday.