The World Health Organisation has called an emergency meeting with scientists concerned about a new COVID variant which has emerged from South Africa.

The new B.1.1.529 strain is said to be even more contagious than the Delta variant with Professor Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, describing it as an “unusual constellation of mutations”.

The UK has already introduced travel bans to six African countries.

So far, 53 cases have been detected in South Africa, the reported place of origin of this strain with another three cases in Botswana and Hong Kong respectively.

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