17 January 2022,   02:29
Europe’s first case of news COVID strain detected in Belgium

EU nations should impose an emergency flight ban on countries where a new coronavirus variant has been found, the European Commission has said, as Belgium confirmed a case, writes BBC.

The variant, currently known as B.1.1.529, has also been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is meeting to discuss the development.

Scientists say they still have much to learn about the virus"s new mutations.

The WHO has said it will take a few weeks to understand the impact of the new variant, as experts work to determine how transmissible it is.

The variant is yet to be given a more memorable name, like Delta or Beta. The WHO is expected to name it on Friday, and announce whether it is a variant of concern or just a variant of interest.

It is very different to the other variants that have emerged so far. Scientists have said it is the most heavily mutated version yet, which means Covid vaccines, which were designed using the original strain from Wuhan, may not be as effective.