By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Israeli health ministry reported the detection of the first case of the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 detected in South Africa in a traveler from Malawi. In addition, two other suspect cases are monitored. They have been genetically sequenced and the results are pending. All three were vaccinated.

Image by Miroslava Chrienova from Pixabay

This prompted Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to state, “Israel is on the verge of an emergency”. He held an emergency meeting Friday morning to discuss the mutation and the implications it could have for the State of Israel and will convene the coronavirus cabinet on Saturday night to make additional decisions, including whether or not it is necessary to close Ben-Gurion airport to foreigners once again.

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The B.1.1.529 is of particular concern because it has more than 30 mutations on the spike protein, explained Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, head of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s School of Public Health. There are concerns the variant is very contagious and could cause more severe disease.

The World Health Organization is currently evaluating the variant, too. If the organization decides to classify it as a variant of concern, it is expected to receive the Greek name “Nu.”