Health Minister Joe Fahley announced on Thursday that a new strain of the corona virus has been detected in South Africa, which scientists say has been found in large numbers in the country’s most populous province of Gttingen. This is alarming because of the rapid spread of the disease among young people.
The corona virus develops as it spreads and many new forms, including alarming mutations, often disappear. Scientists are monitoring possible changes that could be more migratory or fatal, but it may take time to determine whether the new species will affect public health.
South Africa has seen a dramatic increase in new infections, Fahla said in an online press briefing.
“Over the last four or five days, there has been a rapid increase,” he said, adding that the new type seems to be adding to the number of cases. Scientists in South Africa are working to determine the percentage of new cases caused by the new type.
He said that currently identified as B.1.1.529, the new form has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong among travelers from South Africa.
The World Health Organization’s technical working group will meet on Friday to review the new species and decide whether to name it after the Greek alphabet.
The British government has announced that it will ban flights from South Africa and five other South African countries from Friday afternoon, and that anyone who has recently come from those countries will be tested for the corona virus. Will be called
The UK’s health secretary, Sajid Javed, said there were concerns that the new strain could be “more transmissible” than the dominant delta strain and that the vaccines we had could be less effective against it.
Tolio de Oliveira, of the South African Network for Genomic Surveillance, said the new variables contain a “map” of the new variables that have traced the delta’s diversity in the country.
“The sheer number of mutations is a cause for concern for predictable immune theft and migration,” de Oliveira said.
“There are many, many variations in this new form, including more than 30 spike proteins that affect transmissibility,” he said. Is. We hope that in the next few days and weeks the pressure on the healthcare system will begin to increase. “
De Oliveira said a team of scientists from seven South African universities was conducting a variety of studies. He said he has 100 complete genomes and hopes to have more in the next few days.
“We’re worried about this kind of leap in evolution,” he said.
The good news, he said, is that PCR tests can detect it.
After a relatively short transmission period in which only more than 200 newly confirmed cases were recorded daily in South Africa, the number of new cases rose sharply to more than 1,200 daily on Wednesday last week. On Thursday, they jumped to 2,465.
Health Minister Fahla said the first increase was in Pretoria and the surrounding Tshwane metropolitan area, and that the region’s universities appear to be spreading clusters from student gatherings. In the midst of increasing cases, scientists studied the genomic sequence and discovered new species.
“This is clearly a type we should be very serious about,” said Ravinder Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge University. “It contains a large number of spike mutations that can affect the transition and the immune response.”
Gupta said it took time for scientists in South Africa to determine if the new cases were due to a new strain. “It’s very likely,” he said. “South African scientists have done an incredible job of quickly identifying it and bringing it to the world’s attention.”
Fahla said South African authorities had warned that a new head was expected to rise from mid-December to early January and that more people would be vaccinated.
About 41% of adults in South Africa have been vaccinated and the number of shots given daily is relatively low, at less than 130,000, significantly below the government’s daily target of 300,000.
According to Nicholas Crisp, acting director general of the National Health Department, South Africa has about 16.5 million doses of food from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson in the country, and about 2.5 million more are expected to be delivered next week.
“We’re getting vaccines faster than we’re using them right now,” Crisp said. “So for some time now, we have been delaying delivery, not reducing orders, but only delaying our own delivery so that we cannot collect and store the vaccine.”
With a population of 60 million, more than 2.9 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded in South Africa, including more than 89,000 deaths.
To date, the Delta variant is by far the most contagious and has outgrown other once-disturbing species, including Alpha, Beta and Mu. The world’s largest public database contains more than 99% deltas, according to the order presented by countries around the world.