COVID’s new variant detected: Scientists
Published: 11:13 AM, 26 November 2021 Updated: 03:01 PM, 26 November 2021
Although the number of deaths and infections from the Covid-19 pandemic has decreased all over the world, now a new variant of Covid-19 has been detected which was described as a “serious concern”. The new variant of Covid-19 was found in South Africa, reports Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Voice of America (VOA).
Al Jazeera reported that the variant, which was identified as B.1.1.529, can transform itself many times over. This variant is also found in the travelers who came from Botswana and Hong Kong to South Africa.
“Unfortunately, we have identified a new variant of the Covid-19, which is a serious concern for South Africa,” Tulio de Oliveira, from the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa, told a news conference.
Scientists are trying to find out the possible effects of the new variant.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 22 positive cases of the new variant have been recorded in the country following genomic sequencing.
South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the variant was described as a “serious concern” and behind an “exponential” increase in reported cases, making it “a major threat”.
According to Al Jazeera, 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.
“Although the data are limited, our experts are working overtime with all the established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be,” it said.