Passengers look at a departures board at Paris Roissy Airport, as hundreds of commercial flights across northern and eastern Europe are cancelled by a drifting plume of volcanic ash. Image Credit: AP

Paris: France suspends all flights coming from southern Africa for 48 hours, French Health Minister Olivier Veran told journalists on Friday, in reaction to a new coronavirus variant detected in some African countries.

Veran said the new variant had not yet been "diagnosed" in Europe, adding that all persons who recently arrived from the region will be tested and closely monitored.

Separately, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said in a statement discussions will be held "over the next hours" with other EU leaders on the response to bring to this new variant.