Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Health & Education

south african perilous new covid virus panics health scientists and experts

Experts said the variant has a very high number of mutations and causing a resurgence of infections. It has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong among travellers from South Africa.

South African scientists have expressed concern about a new COVID-19 variant that has been detected in small numbers, and are working to understand its potential implications.

The variant – called B.1.1.529 – has a “very unusual constellation” of mutations, which are concerning because they could help it evade the body’s immune response and make it more transmissible, scientists said on Thursday.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 22 positive cases of the new variant have been recorded in the country following genomic sequencing.

“Unfortunately we have detected a new variant which is a reason for concern in South Africa,” Tulio de Oliveira, from the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa, told a news conference.

The variant “has a very high number of mutations”, he said. “It’s unfortunately causing a resurgence of infections,” he added. It has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong among travellers from South Africa, he said.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the variant was of “serious concern” and behind an “exponential” increase in reported cases, making it “a major threat”.

Daily infections jumped to more than 1,200 on Wednesday, up from about 100 earlier this month.

Before the detection of the new variant, authorities had predicted a fourth wave to hit South Africa starting around the middle of December, buoyed by travel ahead of the festive season.

The NICD said in a statement on Thursday that detected cases and the percentage testing positive were “increasing quickly” in three of the country’s provinces including Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, the capital.

A cluster outbreak, concentrated at a higher education institute in Pretoria had recently been identified, the NICD said.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

Advertisement

Facebook

International

In March 2021, China and Iran signed the accord and its implementation has started now with key focus on development of economy, military, and...

Economy

The SBP's objection to govt-supported bank account for Afghanistan on the pretext of FATF seems a tactic to delay support for Afghanistan and to...

Economy

Cumulatively, at $15.8 billion, remittances grew by 11.3% during the first half of FY22 over the same period last year.

Latest Updates

According to the Sessions court, the 26-year-old woman was arrested in May 2020 and charged with posting blasphemous material on her WhatsApp status.

Copyright © 2021 The Truth International