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

3D printed coronavirus model is seen in front of displayed flag of South Africa in this illustration was taken on Feb 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 25 (Reuters) – South African scientists have a new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and are working to understand its potential implications, they said: on Thursday.

The variant – called B.1.1.529 – has a “very unusual zodiac sign” of mutations, die worrying because they could help it evades the body immune response and make it more transmissible, scientists told reporters at a news conference.

Early signs from diagnostic labs suggest variant has increased rapidly in the most populous province of Gauteng and May already be present in the country’s other eight provinces, they said.

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In a regular daily update on confirmed cases in nationwide, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) later reported 2,465 new COVID-19 infections, slightly less than double infections from the previous day. The NICD wrote the latest revival of the new variant, although some leading local scientists suspect that the cause.

South Africa has confirmed about 100 copies as B.1.1.529, but the variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong case a traveler from South Africa. No less than 90% of new cases in Gauteng could be B.1.1.529, scientists believe.

“While data is limited, our experts are working overtime with all established surveillance systems to new variant and what the possible implications could be,” according to the NICD in a statement.

South Africa has requested an urgent meeting of a World Health Organization (WHO) at work group on virus evolution on Friday at the . to discuss new variant.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said it’s too early to say of the government would impose tougher limits in response to the variant.

South Africa was the first country to detect the beta variant last year.

beta is one of only four met the label “of concern” by the WHO because there is evidence that the more contagious and vaccines work less good against the.

The country discovered another variant, C.1.2, earlier this year year, but that has not supplanted the more common Delta variant and still bills for only one small percentage of taken sequenced in last months. read more

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Reporting by Alexander Winning Editing by Angus MacSwan, Mark Potter and Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: World News

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