South Africa detects new COVID-19 variant with multiple mutations

25/11/2021 5:49:00 PM

South Africa detects new COVID-19 variant with multiple mutations

South Africa detects new COVID-19 variant with multiple mutations

JOHANNESBURG: South African scientists have detected a new COVID-19 variant in a small number of cases and are working to understand its potential implications. \u0022Unfortunately we have detected a new variant which is a reason for concern in South Africa,\u0022 virologist Tulio de Oliveira told a hastily-called n

"It is unfortunately causing a resurgence of infections."The variant has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong among travellers from South Africa.The government-run National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) recorded 22 cases of the B.1.1.529 variant in the country following genomic sequencing.

A cluster outbreak was recently identified, concentrated at a higher education institute in Pretoria, said NICD.Scientists said the new variant has at least 10 mutations, compared to two for Delta or three for Beta.But the coming days and weeks will be key to determining the severity of the variant, Lessells said.

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Back to Zero. Same story different name. Lol. Soooo predictable. Need an effective treatment

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South Africa detects new Covid-19 variant, implications not yet clear

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LinkedIn JOHANNESBURG: South African scientists have detected a new COVID-19 variant in a small number of cases and are working to understand its potential implications.LinkedIn JOHANNESBURG: South Africa has asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer to delay delivery of COVID-19 vaccines because it now has too much stock, health ministry officials said, as vaccine hesitancy slows an inoculation campaign.LinkedIn JOHANNESBURG: South African scientists have detected a new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and are working to understand its potential implications, they said on Thursday (Nov 25)..

"Unfortunately we have detected a new variant which is a reason for concern in South Africa," virologist Tulio de Oliveira told a hastily-called news conference on Thursday (Nov 25). "It is unfortunately causing a resurgence of infections. It has averaged 106,000 doses a day in the past 15 days in a nation of 60 million people." The variant, called B.1.1. Now deliveries have been delayed due to oversupply, making the country an outlier in the continent where most are still starved of vaccines.1.

529, has a"very unusual constellation" of mutations that could help the virus evade the body's immune response and make it more transmissible, scientists said.8 million doses in stock and said deliveries had been deferred. South Africa has confirmed around 100 specimens as B. They added that early signs from diagnostic laboratories suggest the variant has spread rapidly in the most populated province of Gauteng - which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria - and may already be present in the country's other eight provinces. The variant has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong among travellers from South Africa."We have deferred some deliveries. Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the variant was of"serious concern" and behind an"exponential" increase in reported cases, making it"a major threat".529, but the variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong case a traveller from South Africa. The country's daily COVID-19 infections shot to more than 1,200 on Wednesday, up from around 100 earlier this month. Stavros Nicolaou, chief executive of Aspen Pharmacare , which is packaging 25 million doses a month of Johnson & Johnson vaccines in South Africa, said most of the vaccines bound for South Africa would now go to the rest of the continent.

However, it was too early to say whether the government would impose tougher restrictions in response, said Phaahla. The government-run National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) recorded 22 cases of the B. Vaccines packaged at Aspen's plant are part of the African Union's agreement to buy 220 million doses from Johnson & Johnson.1.1.1. A Pfizer spokesperson said:"We remain adaptable to individual country's vaccine requirements whilst continuing to meet our quarterly commitments as per the South Africa supply agreement.529 variant in the country following genomic sequencing. South Africa has requested an urgent sitting of a World Health Organization (WHO) working group on virus evolution on Friday to discuss the new variant.

"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," the institute said in a statement on Thursday. "There is a fair amount of apathy and hesitancy," said Shabir Madhi, who led the clinical study for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa. Infections are"increasing quickly" in three provinces. A cluster outbreak was recently identified, concentrated at a higher education institute in Pretoria, said NICD. It has also opened inoculations to children aged 12 to 17. Beta is one of only four labelled"of concern" by the WHO because there is evidence that it is more contagious and vaccines work less well against it. South Africa has requested an urgent sitting of a World Health Organization (WHO) working group on virus evolution on Friday to discuss the new variant. 10 MUTATIONS Scientists said the new variant has at least 10 mutations, compared to two for Delta or three for Beta.

"What gives us some concerns (is) that this variant might have not just have enhanced transmissibility, so spread more efficiently, but might also be able to get around parts of the immune system and the protection we have in our immune system," said researcher Richard Lessells.2, earlier this year, but it has not displaced the more common Delta variant and still only accounts for a small percentage of genomes sequenced in recent months. So far the variant has been seen spreading especially among young people. But the coming days and weeks will be key to determining the severity of the variant, Lessells said. Neutralising the variant is"complicated by the number of mutations this variant" contains, said scientist Penny Moore. "This variant contains many mutations that we are not familiar with," she added.

Before the detection of the new variant, authorities had predicted that a fourth wave would hit South Africa around the middle of December, buoyed by travel ahead of the festive season. South Africa was the first country to detect the Beta variant last year. Beta is one of only four labelled"of concern" by the WHO because there is evidence that it is more contagious and vaccines work less well against it. The country detected another variant, C.1.

2, earlier this year, but it has not displaced the more common Delta variant and still only accounts for a small percentage of genomes sequenced in recent months. After a rather slow start to South Africa's vaccination campaign, around 41 per cent of adults have received at least a single dose, while 35 per cent are fully vaccinated. The country has the highest pandemic numbers in Africa with around 2.95 million cases, of which 89,657 have been fatal. Related: .