New Covid Strain in South Africa According to reports, the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency conference on Friday to discuss a possibly highly infectious coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa and Botswana that might render immunizations ineffective and stymie pandemic attempts.
The WHO stated it is “closely watching” the new coronavirus mutation and will decide at a scientific meeting on Friday whether it should be categorized as a variant of “curiosity” or “concern.”
“Early investigation reveals that this variation contains a substantial number of changes that necessitate and will be studied further,” the WHO noted. On Thursday, South African scientists announced the discovery of a new Covid-19 version with a huge number of mutations, claiming it was to blame for an increase in infections.
At a press conference on Thursday, Tulio de Oliveira, an informatics professor who directs gene-sequencing centers at two Universities, has said that the new variant, known as B.1.1529, had an exceptionally large level of genetic diversity and is “obviously extremely different” from earlier versions.
South African health ministry Joe Phaahla stated, “Well here’s a mutant variety of major concern.” The government-run National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported that 22 people in the country have tested positive again for the new variety. According to the NICD, the majority of instances found and the proportion of those who test positive are “growing rapidly” in three of the nation’s regions.
Several of the variations, according to scientists, suggest the strain’s strong transmissibility and vaccination resistance, and the virus has much more modifications in the surge proteins than any previous Covid-19 varieties. Variant B.1.1.529 has been designated as a Version Under Research by the agency.
In India, Central health secretary Rajesh Bhushan addressed all states/union territories on Thursday, requesting that all overseas travelers arriving in or passing via Botswana, South Africa, or Hong Kong undergo “rigorous screenings and analysis.”