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BCCI should consult govt before South Africa tour: Anurag Thakur

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Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said on Saturday that the BCCI should consult the government before sending the men’s cricket team to South Africa, where a new COVID-19 variant has emerged.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned all countries on Friday after a new variant of COVID-19 was classified in South Africa,” the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said in a statement.

“Not only BCCI, but every board should also consult the Indian government before sending their teams to a country where a new COVID-19 variant has emerged. It is not right to send the team to a country where there is a threat, if BCCI consults us, we will deliberate on that,” Thakur told ANI.

India’s tour of South Africa will begin on December 17. India will play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is against South Africa.

Also read: South Africa discovers new Covid-19 variant in Gauteng

WHO named the new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa as ‘Omicron’.

“The recently discovered variant of coronavirus B.1.1.529 is of concern. It has more mutations than science knows about other alarming variants. The WHO has assessed this new variant as worrisome,” the statement by WHO said.

This variant has been labelled as B.1.1.529 by scientists. WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said after the meeting that early analysis showed that this variant has a large number of mutations that require and will undergo further study.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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