Washington [US], November 27 (ANI/Sputnik): The Biden administration has been discussing the possibility of imposing travel restrictions on passengers from southern Africa amid concerns over a new coronavirus variant emerging in the region, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
White House officials are expected to discuss the matter with agency officials on Friday afternoon to make a recommendation on whether to impose travel restrictions, the report said.
On Friday, infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said the US government will decide on whether to ban travel from South Africa once enough data has been collected. There is no indication that the virus variant has reached the United States yet, but anything is possible, Fauci added.
Some countries, including Austria, Morocco and the Philippines, have announced travel bans on passengers from South Africa due to the new variant, known as B.1.1.529. The variant reportedly has mutations that could hamper the body's immune response and increase its spread.
The World Health Organization held an emergency meeting on Friday and expressed concern over the new variant. However, some virologists have pointed out that as viruses mutate they become less deadly and the coronavirus' replication mechanism remains the same therefore allowing continued use of the existing and proven treatments. (ANI/Sputnik)