Coronavirus: South Africa sees rapid spread of new variant

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Coronavirus: South Africa sees rapid spread of new variant

A new variant of the novel Coronavirus is spreading quickly in South Africa and leaving behind other variants faster than previous ones.

In South Africa, 529 has been detected in Gauteng province, and the positivity rates in Tshwane part of Gauteng have gone from less than 1 per cent to over 30 per cent in the last three weeks.

The new variant sequencing of COVID 19 has been concentrated on samples from Gauteng. Nearly all of the recent samples from Gauteng 77 have found this new variant outstripping the previous Delta variant. This coincides with a larger rise in cases in South Africa. Both numbers of B are small. There's a clear upward trend in South Africa, with 529 and cases in South Africa.

The virus has been identified as having 32 different mutations related to expected immune invasion and transmissibility despite being tracked for only the past three days.

The variant was identified this week and has been found in three countries so far: Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong returning traveller from South Africa Gauteng saw a rapid increase in test positivity last week. Notwithstanding the potential bias in sequencing, the B. Vinod Scaria, Scientist, Institute of Genomics Integrative Biology, said in a tweet that the 529 variant appears to be dominant almost 0 to 75 per cent in South Africa.

Of the 59 laboratory confirmed cases of the new variant, three were in Botswana, two were in Hong Kong among people who had travelled from South Africa, and the rest were from South Africa.

The strain has an unusually large number of mutations and is clearly very different from previous variants, said Tulio de Oliveira, Director of Centre for Epidemic Response Innovation, South Africa.

The 529 genome was obtained from 77 samples from Gauteng, South Africa, four samples from Botswana and one sample from Hong Kong via a traveller from South Africa from 12 -- 20 November.

Early signs from diagnostic labs show that B. 529 has risen rapidly in Gauteng and may already be present in most provinces.

We can make some predictions about the impact of mutations in this variant, but the full significance is uncertain, and the vaccines remain the critical tool to protect us from severe diseases. The number of people infected with the B. The strain 529 is still small, caution must be exercised due to the unusual constellation of mutations, said Oliveira.

The mutations have features seen in all of the other variants but also traits that have never been seen before. The variant 529 has an unprecedented number of mutations in the spike protein gene. This protein is the target of most vaccines and has a greater potential to escape prior immunity than previous variants.