New Delhi: Several countries have banned flights to and from South Africa after the nation reported a new COVID-19 variant - B.1.1.529. India, United Kingdom, France, Singapore, Japan are the few countries that have tighten border controls for people travelling from South Africa.
The European Union is proposing to impose ban on flights from the regions across the whole bloc.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against the countries hastily imposing travel restrictions and said that they should look to a "risk-based and scientific approach".
The United Kingdom, Japan, Netherlands, have started to halt flights from southern African nations including - South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho.
Countries including Singapore, Italy and Israel have also put Mozambique on their red lists, restricting travelers from the city in their country.
India has ordered rigorous screening and testing of all the travelers arriving from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.
The new and possible vaccine resistance variant of coronavirus - B.1.1.529 has infected around 100 people in South Africa. As many as four cases of the virus and a single case of the new variant were reported in Hong Kong and Israel respectively.
The virus is also infecting people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Scientists in South Africa have said that the new variant has a "very unusual constellation" of mutations, which are a cause of concerning as they could help it evade the immune response of the body and make it more transmissible.