Scientists in South Africa detect new Covid-19 variant that poses ‘major threat’

Published on: 25/11/2021 – 15:56

Scientists in South Africa say Thursday they discovered a new version of Covid-19 with several modifications, blaming it for the high number of infections.

“Unfortunately we have found a new species which is a cause for concern South Africa, ”Says germologist Tulio de Oliveira to a press conference called immediately.

These differences, which are accompanied by scientific line number B.1.1.529, “have a number of variables”, he said.

“Unfortunately it is causing disease,” he said.

It has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong among travelers from South Africa, he said.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the change was “extremely worrying” and “exacerbated”. in the cases stated, making it a “major threat”.

Daily illnesses hit more than 1,200 Wednesday, up from about 100 earlier this month.

Before realizing the new type, officials predicted that a fourth wave would hit South Africa from mid-December, boosted by travel before the holiday season.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) states that 22 positive cases of type B.1.1.529 have been registered in the country following genomic sequence.

It said in a statement Thursday that the number of people infected with the virus is “increasing rapidly” in three states of the country including Gauteng, including Johannesburg and Pretoria.

A recent epidemic of gangs has been identified, which took place at a tertiary institution in Pretoria, the NICD said.

Last year South Africa also recognized the Beta version of virus, although to date its disease statistics are driven by the Delta species, which were found in India.

The country is the largest epidemic in Africa with an estimated 2.95 million people, of which 89,657 have died.

Ten changes

Scientists say the new version of B.1.1.529 has at least 10 mutations, compared to two Delta or three Beta variants.

“What worries us (is) that this mutation will not only increase the spread, so it spreads better, but also the ability to revolve around the immune system and the defenses we have in our body,” the researcher said. Richard Lessells.

At present the differences appear to be particularly prevalent among young people.

But the coming days and weeks will be crucial to understanding the dangers of diversity, Lessells said.

One of the scientists, Penny Moore, stated:

“This brand has a lot of changes that we don’t know about,” he added.

After a slow start to vaccination in South Africa, about 41 percent of adults have received a single dose, while 35 percent have adequate vaccines.


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