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Von der Leyen says EU is taking new Covid variant ‘very seriously’

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Von der Leyen says EU is taking new Covid variant ‘very seriously’

The European Commission has urged EU countries to introduce an “emergency brake” on travel from southern Africa after a new Covid variant was detected there.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc is taking news of the variant “very seriously” as the first infection of the new strain was detected in Belgium on Friday.

The new B.1.1.529 variant, first detected in Botswana, has sparked alarm among scientists due to its high number of mutations.

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