JOHANNESBURG, 25 November. (Reuters) – South African scientists
discovered a new variant of COVID-19 in small numbers and
are working to understand its potential implications, they said
The variant, named B.1.1.529, has “a very unusual
constellation “mutations of concern because they
can help it evade the body’s immune response and make it stronger
– transmitted, scientists told reporters at a press conference.
Early signs of diagnostic labs suggest an option
grew rapidly in the most populous province of Gauteng
and may already be present in the other eight countries
they said the provinces.
South Africa has confirmed about 100 samples as
B.1.1.529, but this variant was also found in Botswana and
Hong Kong, with the case of Hong Kong a traveler from the south
Africa. Up to 90% of new cases in Gauteng can be
B.1.1.529, scientists say.
“Although data is limited, our specialists work
overtime with all surveillance systems installed to
understand the new option and the possible consequences
maybe, ”- South African National Institute for Infectious Diseases.
The disease said in a statement.
South Africa demanded an urgent convening of a worldwide
The Health Organization (WHO) Working Group on the Evolution of Viruses in
Friday to discuss the new option.
Health Minister Joe Fahla says it’s too early to say
will the government impose stricter restrictions on
answer to option.
South Africa was the first country to discover the beta version
version of last year.
Beta is one of four identified by WHO as “of concern”.
because there is evidence that it is more contagious and
vaccines against it work worse.
The country found another option, C.1.2, earlier than this
year, but it did not supplant the more common Delta and
still accounts for only a small percentage of genomes sequenced
in recent months.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning
Edited by Angus Maxuen and Mark Potter)