New Covid Variant in South Africa With Highest Mutations So Far a Serious Concern: WHO

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) officials on Thursday met to discuss a new coronavirus variant carrying an “unusual constellation of mutations” and expressed serious concerns over the same. The coronavirus variant B.1.1529 has been identified circulating in South Africa and Botswana, stoking fears that the region may face a potentially severe fourth wave that could spread internationally.Also Read – AB de Villiers Retires: A Look Back At His Brilliant Career Stats In All Formats | ODI, Test & T20 Average

The identification of the new variant prompted a hastily-called press conference by virologist Tulio de Oliveira. “Unfortunately we have detected a new variant which is a reason for concern in South Africa,” de Oliveira told the news conference. Only 10 cases of the strain, which could eventually be named ‘Nu’, have been detected so far. But it has already been spotted in three countries, suggesting the variant is more widespread. Also Read – Ab de Villiers’ Retirement Leaves Virat Kohli Heartbroken; Wishes Pour in From Around The World

South Africa was the first country to detect the Beta variant, which was later labelled as a ‘variant of concern’ by the UN health agency due to its transmissibility and ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in a statement that the South African scientists are working to understand the potential implications of the new variant found in 22 Covid cases following genome sequencing. Also Read – Flame No Longer Burns: AB de Villiers Announces Retirement From All Formats Of The Game

“Here is a mutation variant of serious concern,” South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at the same media event. “We were hopeful that we might have a longer break in between waves — possibly that would hold off to late December or even next year January,” he added.

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