South Africa finds new variant of coronavirus “serious concern” | Coronavirus pandemic news

South Africa’s Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla (Joe Phaahla) said this variation is responsible for the “exponential” increase in COVID infections.

South African scientists have discovered a new variant of COVID-19 and are working to understand its potential impact.

Scientists told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that this variant called B.1.1.529 has a “very unusual series of mutations”, which is worrying because they can help it escape the body’s immunity. React and make it more communicable.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) said that after genome sequencing, the country has recorded 22 positive cases of the new variant.

Virologist Tulio de Oliveira said at a press conference: “Unfortunately, we have discovered a new variant, which has attracted the attention of South Africa.”

He said the variant “has a lot of mutations.” “Unfortunately, this has caused the infection to return,” he added.

He said the virus was also found in South African travelers in Botswana and Hong Kong.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla stated that this variation has caused “serious concern” and the “exponential” increase in reported cases has made it a “major threat”.

On Wednesday, the number of daily infections jumped from about 100 earlier this month to more than 1,200.

Before the discovery of the new variant, the authorities predicted that the fourth wave would begin to hit South Africa around mid-December, which was driven by pre-holiday travel.

NICD said in a statement on Thursday that in the country’s three provinces, including Gauteng (including Johannesburg and Pretoria), the number of detected cases and the percentage of positive tests are “rapidly increasing.”

NICD said that a cluster outbreak was recently discovered, concentrated in a higher education institution in the capital Pretoria.

“Although the data is limited, our experts are working overtime and working with all established monitoring systems to understand the new variants and their potential impact,” it said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, South Africa has recorded approximately 2.95 million cases of COVID-19, of which 89,657 have died.

Ten mutations

Scientists said that the new B.1.1.529 variant has at least 10 mutations, while Delta has two mutations and Beta has three mutations.

“What worries us is that this variant may not only have an enhanced ability to spread and therefore spread more effectively, but it may also bypass certain parts of the immune system and the protections we have in the immune system,” said researcher Richard De Lassels.

So far, this variant has been found to spread especially among young people.

But Lassels said that the next few days and weeks will be the key to determining the severity of the mutation.

South Africa has asked the World Health Organization (WHO) Virus Evolution Working Group to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss this new variant.

Health Minister Phaahla said that it is too early to say whether the government will impose stricter restrictions on this variation.

South Africa was the first country to detect a Beta variant last year.

Beta is one of only four that the World Health Organization has marked as “concerned” because there is evidence that it is more contagious and the vaccine is less effective against it.

.

Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *