Virus Outbreak New Variant

People with masks walik, at a shopping mall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021. Advisers to the World Health Organization are holding a special session Friday to flesh out information about a worrying new variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in South Africa, though its impact on COVID-19 vaccines may not be known for weeks. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister says it is "on the threshold of an emergency situation" after authorities detected the country's first case of a new coronavirus variant in a traveler who returned from Malawi.

The Health Ministry says the traveler and two other suspected cases, all of whom were vaccinated, have been placed in isolation.

A new coronavirus variant has been detected in South Africa that scientists say is a concern because of its high number of mutations and rapid spread among young people in Gauteng, the country's most populous province.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says the new strain is more contagious than the delta variant.

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