LONDON, 24 December 2020 – The United Kingdom has detected two cases of the South African variant of the new coronavirus, according to UK health secretary Matt Hancock.
The cases were detected in London and north west England on people who travelled to South Africa, where the variant was discovered.
The UK has imposed travel restrictions with South Africa in keeping with advice provided by health specialists.
English officials have ordered immediate quarantine for anyone in the UK who has travelled to South Africa or has been in contact with anyone who has travelled to South Africa.
The health ministry in South Africa has warned of the severity of the new variant.
“Previously healthy people are now becoming very sick,” health minister Zweli Mkhize told reporters.
South Africa cannot afford “to go through what we went through in the early days of the AIDS pandemic,” Zweli Mkhize has cautioned.