Covid-19: A new variant attracts attention in South Africa-zimo news


Scientists announced on Thursday that a new Covid-19 variant has been discovered in South Africa. This variant may be highly contagious and has multiple mutations. This variant is showing signs of a new wave of pandemics.

Chain mutation and highly infectious: Following the announcement by the country’s scientific community on Thursday, November 25, a new variant of Covid-19 has made South African authorities worry about a new pandemic wave.

Virologist Tulio de Oliveira said at an online press conference supervised by the Ministry of Health that the B.1.1.529 variant showed an “extremely high” number of mutations, “we can see that it has a very rapid spread potential.”

Vaccine resistant variants?

With the support of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, his team at the Krisp Institute has discovered a highly contagious Beta variant last year.

The initial deformation of the virus may make it more transmissible in order to make it dominant: this is the case with the Delta variant originally discovered in India, which according to the World Health Organization reduces the effectiveness of anti-vaccine to 40%. Coronavirus disease.

At this point, South African scientists are uncertain about the effectiveness of existing anti-Covid vaccines against the new virus.

“Our concern is that this variant may not only have enhanced transmission capabilities, but also be able to bypass certain parts of our immune system,” said another researcher, Professor Richard Lessels.

According to data from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD), 22 cases have been reported so far, mainly affecting young people. Neighboring countries Botswana and Hong Kong have also reported a case of a person returning from a trip to South Africa.

“Main Threat”

“The number of detected cases and the percentage of positive tests are rapidly increasing,” NICD confirmed in a statement, especially in the most populous province of Gauteng, which includes Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Scientists warn that health agencies must expect a new wave of patients in the coming days or weeks.

South Africa is the country most severely affected by the virus on the African continent, and the infection rate has increased further in recent weeks. The Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, stated that it was first attributed to the Delta variant, which is the origin of this “exponential” growth and represents a “significant threat”.

He added that the emergence of this new form “reinforces the fact that the invisible enemy we are dealing with is very unpredictable.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been approximately 2.9 million cases in South Africa, resulting in 89,600 deaths. More than 1,200 new cases were recorded in 24 hours on Wednesday, compared with 100 at the beginning of this month. The authorities are worried that there will be a new wave of epidemics by the end of the year.

Note for the UK

Following the announcement by the South African authorities, the United Kingdom announced on Thursday that it would ban travelers from six African countries.

British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that from Friday, all flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana will be suspended.

Agence France-Presse

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