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What 5 Top Experts Are Saying About New Covid Strain

New Delhi:

A brand new variant of COVID-19 detected in South Africa and Botswana has raised issues amongst consultants and governments throughout the globe. India has already introduced rigorous screening of passengers flying in from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.

The new variant, referred to as B.1.1.529, carries an unusually massive variety of mutations. The variant is “clearly very different” from the opposite incarnations of Covid, Tulio de Oliveira, a bio-informatics professor who runs gene-sequencing establishments at two South African universities, mentioned at a briefing on Thursday.

Scientists in South Africa are involved that the excessive variety of mutations of B.1.1.529 may make it immune to the physique’s immune response.

The new variant is more likely to have developed throughout a persistent an infection of an immuno-compromised individual, probably in an untreated HIV/AIDS affected person, Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute mentioned.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) can also be learning the brand new variant and has mentioned that it may have an effect on how COVID-19 behaves.

“The concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, mentioned at a digital press briefing.

“It will take a few weeks for us to understand what impact this variant has on any potential vaccines,” she added.

Highlighting the severity of the brand new variant, epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding mentioned that the positivity fee in South Africa has gone up from 1 per cent to 30 per cent.

“The spread across South Africa is quite sudden and widespread. And change from 1% positivity to suddenly 30% in a week,” Mr Feigl-Ding posted on Twitter.

Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson mentioned that B.1.1.529 had an “unprecedented” variety of mutations within the spike protein and was driving a current fast enhance in case numbers in South Africa.

“The government’s move to restrict travel with South Africa is, therefore, prudent,” he mentioned.


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