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South Africa detects new COVID-19 variant

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Dennis Malattji takes his coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine while a health worker looks on inside the Transvaco COVID-19 vaccine train, as South Africas rail company Transnet turned the train into a COVID-19 vaccination center on rails to help the government speed up its vaccine rollout in the countrys remote communities, at the Springs train station on the East Rand, South Africa, August 27, 2021. — Reuters/File
Dennis Malattji takes his coronavirus illness (COVID-19) vaccine whereas a well being employee appears to be like on contained in the Transvaco COVID-19 vaccine prepare, as South Africa’s rail firm Transnet turned the prepare right into a COVID-19 vaccination heart on rails to assist the federal government pace up its vaccine rollout within the nation’s distant communities, on the Springs prepare station on the East Rand, South Africa, August 27, 2021. — Reuters/File
  • South Africa was the primary nation to detect the Beta variant final yr.
  • 22 circumstances of latest variant recorded following genomic sequencing.
  • Scientists working to know new variant’s potential implications.

JOHANNESBURG: South African scientists have detected a brand new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and are working to know its potential implications, the Nationwide Institute for Communicable Ailments (NICD) stated on Thursday.

The NICD stated in a press release that 22 circumstances of variant B.1.1.529 had been recorded following genomic sequencing.

“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 assertion quoted the NICD’s Professor Adrian Puren as saying.

South Africa was the primary nation to detect the Beta variant final yr. Beta is one in all solely 4 labelled “of concern” by the World Well being Group as a result of there may be proof that it’s extra transmissible and vaccines work much less properly in opposition to it.

The nation detected one other variant, C.1.2, earlier this yr, however it has not displaced the extra widespread Delta variant and nonetheless solely accounts for a comparatively small proportion of genomes sequenced.

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