South African health officials announced yesterday that they have found a new mutant virus that may reduce the effectiveness of the new coronavirus vaccine.

WHO = World Health Organization is considering whether to designate this virus as a "variant of concern".

South African health officials announced on the 25th that a new mutant of the new coronavirus has been detected in the capital Pretoria and in Gauteng, where the largest city of Johannesburg is located.

According to health officials, 77 cases of this mutant virus have been confirmed in the country so far, but the rate of detection is increasing rapidly and may have spread beyond Gauteng. is.

The mutant virus has also been detected in neighboring Botswana in addition to South Africa, as it has a mutation that may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, as well as in Hong Kong from travelers from South Africa. about it.

Regarding this, Mr. Bankerkov, chief technology officer of the new coronavirus control at WHO, said on the 25th, "There is little known about this mutant virus, but now experts are saying what kind of effect it will have on the effectiveness of therapeutic drugs and vaccines. I'm investigating if there is one. "

WHO will consider whether to designate the virus as a "variant of concern" or "variant of concern".

British government bans travel to a total of 6 countries around South Africa

Following the confirmation of a new mutant virus in South Africa, the British government has targeted six countries, including South Africa and its surrounding Botswana, at noon on the 26th local time and 9:00 pm on the 26th Japan time. Announced measures to tighten travel restrictions.

Direct flights will be suspended from these countries and entry will be prohibited.

In addition, people living in the United Kingdom will be required to be quarantined at a government-designated hotel.

On the night of the 25th, Health Minister Sajid Javid emphasized the need for countermeasures, saying, "This mutant virus may be more infectious than the Delta strain and may weaken the effectiveness of the vaccine," in a media interview. bottom.

According to the British government, no new mutant virus has been confirmed in the UK so far, and this measure is prophylactic.

Chief Cabinet Secretary "Responding with a sense of tension"

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, "I am aware of the news that the infection of the new mutant coronavirus is spreading mainly in South Africa. If a new mutant is confirmed, We believe that it is important to evaluate the infectivity, severity, and effect on the vaccine effect, and we are responding with a sense of tension. "

On top of that, "At the moment, it has not been confirmed in Japan including airport quarantine, but we are still collecting information such as WHO = World Health Organization and trends in other countries. Also, the specimens that were found to be positive by quarantine are All of them are analyzed by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and the trends of mutant strains are monitored by domestic genome surveillance. "

"The key to crisis management is to assume the worst. As for border measures, if the situation worsens, such as when the infection of a new mutant strain spreads, we will respond flexibly. , We intend to respond promptly and appropriately to this matter as well. "