Concerning coronavirus strain out of South Africa merits 'severe travel restriction': Dr. Marc Siegel

DR. MARC SIEGEL: The variant is coming out of South Africa. It started in Botswana, and there’s very little vaccination down there. Twenty-four percent of South Africa is vaccinated. In the area around Johannesburg, there’s some reports that it’s 90 percent of the isolates that they’re finding. Still a small number overall, but here’s the issue. There’s 32 mutations to the spike protein. That’s concerning, but we don’t yet know how transmissible this is and whether it would evade the vaccine. That’s the key … World Health Organization is going to call this a variant of concern today in my opinion. We’re going to have to track this very carefully. This one I’m concerned about …

WHO HOLDS EMERGENCY MEETING TO DISCUSS ‘HEAVILY MUTATED’ COVID-19 VARIANT, UK TAKES ACTION

We’ve gotten [travel restrictions] wrong ever since the beginning of the pandemic when Donald Trump called for the restrictions on China. I say yes to that. Why would we travel to and from South Africa right now while we are trying to figure this out? Absolutely should be a severe travel restriction to that area right now. Why would we want this variant to escape and get out? I just told you it may be something to be concerned about. Yes, travel restrictions, big time.

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