The vaccines being developed will be effective against the new variants of Covid-19 as well, it is being hoped.(REUTERS)
The vaccines being developed will be effective against the new variants of Covid-19 as well, it is being hoped.(REUTERS)

New Covid-19 mutant found in South Africa: What we know so far

Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Israel and Mauritius have banned flights from South Africa to stop importing the new variant which is more contagious and might be potential to infect people with no co-morbidities.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON DEC 24, 2020 12:48 PM IST

Amid concerns over new Coronavirus mutant found in the UK and the rest of the world subsequently rushing to shut their doors to Britain, another variant has now been found, which has links to South Africa.

Here is what we know so far about the South African variant

1. Two cases belonging to this new category have been detected in the United Kingdom, British health secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed.

2. Both of them have come in contact of those who have travelled from South Africa over the past few weeks.

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3. South Africa had detected the mutation earlier. It reported last week that scientists have found a new genetic mutation which might be responsible for the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in South Africa.

4. This South African variant is more transmissible than the UK variant, British health secretary has said, as this variant has mutated further than the UK variant.

5. The variant has been named as 501.V2, South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Twitter.

 

6. Younger people with no co-morbidities are being infected by the new variant, South Africa has found. “Clinicians have been providing anecdotal evidence of a shift in the clinical epidemiological picture- in particular noting that they are seeing a larger proportion of younger patients with no co-morbidities presenting with critical illness,” Zweli Mkhize said.

7. The new variant was discovered through routine surveillance by the laboratories in South Africa. Initially, the variant was confined to coastal regions, but has now entered inland.

8. Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Israel and Mauritius have banned flights from South Africa.

 

9. The South African variant may allow the virus to better bind to and enter cells than previous variants, which is why transmission rate is higher, scientists told The Guardian.

10. South Africa reported a sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in January. the new variant is believed to be the reason behind.

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