New type of COVID-19 detected in South Africa Travel restrictions and anxious waiting for data

Johannesburg – A potentially dangerous new strain Corona virus It is sounding the alarm for scientists around the world and urging governments to ban travelers from South African countries. The variant was first. Found in South Africa, Where scientists hastened to raise the flag in front of the global health community.

As CBS News correspondent Deborah Patta reports, there is growing concern among experts that new tensions could derail the fight against epidemics.

South African officials say the strain, which has more variations than ever before, is a major “leap in evolution” since the global health crisis began two years ago. Indicates

According to public health expert Professor Saleem Abdul Karim, the concern is that the vaccine may be more transmissible or even more resistant than existing formulas.

“If it’s a different shape, or more transferable. Delta variantIt will be very difficult to estimate, to differ from what we have seen, that is, it will grow and spread all over the world, “he told CBS News.


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South African scientists are working around the clock to find out how bad the new version, which has so far only been called B.1.1.529, is. Lab results are just a few weeks away.

But despite the World Health Organization’s call for a “risk-based and scientific approach” as it urges nations not to adopt travel restrictions yet, some countries have decided not to wait for a detailed scientific analysis. Britain, France and Israel have canceled direct flights from South Africa and surrounding countries.

Less than 100 new cases have been confirmed so far, mostly among South African youth, who have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

South Africa calls British travel ban on new COVID-19
A passenger is seen wearing a face mask in a taxi in Soweto, South Africa, on November 26, 2021, following the announcement of British and French restrictions on flights from the country due to the identification of a new COVID-19 type.

SIPHIWE SIBEKO / REUTERS


Botswana and Hong Kong also recently confirmed cases of passengers returning from South Africa, and Israel said on Friday that three people who had just returned from abroad were also affected by the tension. One of the patients came from Malawi, but Israeli officials did not say where the other two came from. All three were placed in mandatory solitary confinement on Friday.

Health officials in South Africa said the response from other countries was premature, given how little is understood about the new strain. Karim noted that his whereabouts were determined only by the excellent scientific surveillance of COVID-19 cases from South Africa, which seeks out new species in particular. Some other nations have such robust genomic sequencing programs to detect stress.

He told CBS News, “It’s true that other countries may not have that much hard work, which means other nations.” They just don’t know about it. “


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More than a year after the first corona virus vaccine became available, the World Health Organization and public health experts around the world have warned that if food sharing is shared with developing countries, even countries with good vaccines. If not done Will be in danger As new, potentially more dangerous species are placed – and insecure human hosts – they need to be prepared.

To date, less than 7% of the African continent’s population has been vaccinated. Increasing pressure On pharmaceutical companies and the richest countries to address major imbalances in vaccine distribution.

Pfizer partner BioNTech said Friday that it is already studying the effectiveness of companies’ COVID vaccine formulas against new strains.

“We expect more data from laboratory tests in the latest two weeks,” a Biotech spokesman told AFP. “These data will provide more information on whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape type that would require our vaccine to be adjusted if this variant spreads globally.”

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