The Boris Johnson government announced the ban on flight arrivals from 14 Latin American countries, following the new variant of COVID-19 detected in Brazil.
The Secretary of Transportation, Grant Shapps, reported that the measure, which will take effect at 4 on Friday, covers Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
It also includes the African Cape Verde already Portugal for its “strong travel ties with Brazil,” the official explained.
The restriction does not apply to British, Irish and resident citizens, but those returning passengers from these countries must isolate themselves for 10 days.
The variant of the coronavirus detected in Japan originating from the Brazilian Amazon it is “very probably” more contagious, like the British or South Africansaid to the AFP researcher Felipe Naveca, who leads the studies on virus mutations in Amazonas state (north).
Naveca, a member of the Leônidas Institute and Maria Deane who works together with the prestigious Fiocruz Foundation, also indicates that the new variant may already be present in other parts of Brazil and does not rule out that it is the predominant strain in the state of Amazonas, where the pandemic is wreaking havoc. The WHO described her as a “worrying variant”, Which could impact the immune response.
Hours ago, the British opposition had urged the conservative government of Boris Johnson to restrict travel from Latin America in the wake of the discovery in Brazil. “Once again it appears that the Conservatives have missed an opportunity to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Sarah Olney, the centrist Liberal Democratic Party chief on transportation. “They are delaying taking measures to cut travel between the UK and South America, risking the arrival of the new strain” despite the fact that “Brazil has already canceled flights from the UK,” he added.
Several hospitals in the United Kingdom have had to resort to makeshift morgues for emergencies due to the lack of capacity in health centers due to the increase in deaths from the pandemic.
He Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (East of England) confirmed this Thursday that it will use a mortuary enabled last March, although it was not used then, in a former hangar of the RAF Coltishall military air base.
In the English county of Surrey, outside of London, hospitals are turning to a temporary morgue at Headley Court in Leatherhead, where the bodies of 170 people, more than half of whom died from COVID-19, reported local authorities.
The United Kingdom reached a new record of deaths from coronavirus in a single day, with 1,564, up to a total of 84,767 according to data from the Ministry of Health, although other official statistics indicate that the real number of deaths attributable to the virus amounts to 97,000.
Country worst hit in Europe by the pandemic, with almost 85,000 confirmed deaths from covid-19, the British face an unstoppable wave of infections since the discovery in December of a new strain in the south of England, apparently much more contagious.
(With information from AFP)