Qatar Airways says it is monitoring the situation in Southern Africa very closely and working with the World Health Organisation.
On its Twitter page Qatar Airways said: With immediate effect, Qatar Airways will no longer be operating flights from five South African countries – Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe – due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant. We continue to review the situation as information is available from the WHO.
Thus there will be no passengers from these nations at Qatar Airways hub Hamad International Airport in Doha.
The World Health Organization announced Friday that its Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) assessed the SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529. and found that this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.
It said that “preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa.”
The new variant has been named Omicron.