KRG says will monitor travelers from UK over new COVID-19 strain

File – Kurdish medical workers are pictured outside Rzgari Hospital in Erbil

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will monitor people traveling to the Kurdistan Region from Britain in response to a new strain of the coronavirus detected there, the health ministry said on Monday.

“Any person who return to the Kurdistan Region from Britain will be monitored,” spokesman of health ministry Aso Hawez said in a statement.

KRG Health Minister Saman Barzinji called on the health officials and administrations to monitor any traveler who visit the Region through the airports and border crossings.

British officials have said the new strain of coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom is up to 70% more infectious, but it is not thought to be more deadly.

“There’s no evidence that it causes more severe illness or higher mortality, but it does appear to be passed on significantly more easily,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a news conference on Saturday.

Cases in Britain have soared in the last two weeks, and were rising fast, data showed.

Some European countries began closing their doors to travelers from the United Kingdom on Sunday amid alarm about a rapidly spreading strain of coronavirus that has caused cases to soar there, according to Reuters.

The countries include France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Romania, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic also announced plans to bar flights from the United Kingdom.

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