S.Africa detects new COVID-19 variant, but implications haven't yet been clear

S.Africa detects new COVID-19 variant, but implications haven't yet been clear ...

- South African scientists have found a new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and are studying its potential implications - they said on Thursday.

The variant, called B.1.1.529, has a very unusual effect on a biological, apedic variant, which includes a surprisingly uncommon sequence of mutations, evidence of these sorts, so that it can be applied for avoiding the body's immune response, so that it can become more transmitsible, scientists told reporters on a news conference.

Early signs from diagnostic laboratories suggest the variant has rapidly increased in Gauteng's most populated province and could be present in other eight provinces now, they said.

The national Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) later reported 2 465 new COVID-19 infections, just more than double the previous day's infection. Unfortunately, the NICD did not attribute the latest resurgence to the new variant, despite leading local scientists suspect that it is the cause.

The study says that half of the new cases could be from the region to Gauteng, with most new cases confirmed to be B.1.1.529, and yet many other species presumably originated from South Africa. The discovery also is true in Botswana and Hong Kong, but one in the Hong Kong case is from a different country. There are about 90 per cent of new cases in Gauteng still exists in the region that were also tested for B.1.1.529, scientists believe.

Despite the limited data, the NICD said that the new variant and the possible implications were applied.

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

The health minister Joe Phaaahla said it's too early to say whether the government would impose tougher restrictions to response to the variant.

Last year, South Africa was the first country to see the Beta variant.

Beta is one of only four "of concern" of the WHO, because there is evidence that it is more contagious and the antivax works not well against it.

The country detected a second variant called C.1.2 earlier this year, but this hasn't displaced the more common Delta variant, but still accounts for very little number of genome sequences in recent months.

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