Egypt suspends flights to South Africa after new variant Omicron classed ‘of concern’



Sat, 27 Nov 2021 - 05:42 GMT


Sat, 27 Nov 2021 - 05:42 GMT

EgyptAir plane - EgyptAir/FILE

EgyptAir plane - EgyptAir/FILE

CAIRO – 27 November 2021: Flag carrier EgyptAir announced suspending flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, after the World Health Organization classed the new coronavirus variant that emerged in southern Africa as “of concern”.

EgyptAir’s suspension of flights to South Africa came in light of a decision by Egypt’s Supreme Committee for the Management of the Coronavirus Crisis chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.

As per the decision, EgyptAir suspended Saturday’s flight MS839 bound to Johannesburg on 11 PM.

Travelers to Egypt via indirect flights from seven south African countries will have to take rapid coronavirus test and those who test positive will have to turn back to their countries, sources at EgyptAir said.

Those countries are South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini.

In case arrivals from these countries tested negative for the rapid test, they will have to self-isolate at home for seven days and then take a PCR test after the quarantine period.

Travelers will have to sign self-quarantine agreement before they take the flight to Egypt, the sources said.

The new variant, Omicron, was discovered by South African health authorities, and has prompted many countries to react rapidly to its spread, with some banning travel with many southern African states.

Dozens of cases that contracted the new variant were found in South Africa, Bostwana, Hong Kong and Belgium.

Egypt’s measures against Omicron

A set of measures has been approved in light of reports related to the new coronavirus variant, the health ministry has revealed.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health "instructed to raise the degree of maximum preparations for quarantine in all air, land and sea ports of Egypt.

The ministry also ordered raising the level of verification that those coming to the country are free of any possible infections, especially with the new mutation.

The rapid test known as ID NOW COVID-19 test is still in force at various outlets, and is among the measures taken to confront the new mutant, the ministry said.

The Egyptian authorities are "closely monitoring everything that is published about the Omicron mutant, and are taking resolute and multiple measures to deal with it," the ministry added.



Leave a Comment

Be Social