Chattogram [Bangladesh], November 28 (ANI): Pakistan bowling consultant Vernon Philander who is currently with the team on the tour of Bangladesh will leave the squad bubble on Monday due to the shutdown of flight operations in South Africa following the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in the country.
As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, Philander was slated to leave for South Africa after the two-Test series against Bangladesh concluded, but he now has had to change his plans midway through the first Test because of the worsening COVID-19 situation.
The new COVID-19 variant which has been termed as "Omicron" has already resulted in the remaining two ODIs between South Africa and Netherlands being postponed.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'.
This came after the WHO held a meeting to discuss the newly-identified COVID-19 variant. "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 said.
This variant has been labelled as B.1.1.529 by scientists. WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said after the meeting that early analysis shows that this variant has a large number of mutations that require and will undergo further study. (ANI)