The new Covid-19 variant detected in South Africa has caused deep unrest amongst scientists across the world as it is termed as the “worst ever” super-mutant Covid-19 variant.
The scientists of South Africa identified a new strain of coronavirus which is termed as the reason behind the sudden spike of Covid-19 cases in the region. The cases went from 200 to 2465 daily in a matter of days.
The new Covid-19 variant is termed B.1.1.529.
South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla also linked the newly detected virus strain to the “exponential rise” of cases in the country.
This new detection has alarmed the World Health Organization as it urges precautions to the countries as well as convenes a group of experts to assess the data in detail obtained from South Africa.
The worst part of this new variant is that it has an increasingly high number of mutations that is 30 in the spike protein of coronavirus which means that it can affect individuals easily as well as spreads faster than the prior stains.
Sharon Peacock from the University of Cambridge studied the available data and analyzed that “new variant has mutations consistent with enhanced transmissibility but the significance of many of the mutations is still not known.”
A virologist from the University of Warwick, Lawrence Young stated that the variant is “the most heavily mutated version of the virus we have seen. It is concerning that although the variant was only detected in low levels in parts of South Africa, it looks like it’s spreading rapidly.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci arranged a call with the South African medical experts to talk in detail about the newly detected variant.
This new detection of a highly contagious strand led to countries stopping travel with South Africa. The United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Israel were the first ones to take action and ban travel to the region.
The passengers continue to arrive in the United States of America up till now. Even though measures are being taken to restrict the spread, the damage has been done and the first case of the said variant was detected in Hong Kong, outside the soils of South Africa.
Israel also detected its first case in “a person who returned from Malawi.”
The vaccine might not be too helpful in this variant as a majority of the people who got infected were fully vaccinated by the Pfizer vaccine.
Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist stated that “the initial data from the variant was worrying and border restriction should be imposed. Looks like vaccine evasion could be real with this variant.”
‘It’s very airborne,’ Feigl-Ding said. ‘The hotel guests were in a different room across the hallway from each other. Environmental samples found the virus in 25 of 87 swabs across both rooms.’
He added: ‘I think border and travel restrictions make sense. Especially since Hong Kong only caught the case because of a mandatory hotel quarantine. Which countries in the west still have that??? Almost none.’
The new Covid-19 variant has caused a stir across the globe and Asian nations are also preparing themselves to curtail this newly detected strain which might reach their soils in no time.