A new variant of Covid-19, whose high number of mutations could threaten the efficacy of existing vaccines, has been detected in South Africa, scientists announced on November 25.
A variant that has a large number of mutations.
“Unfortunately, we have detected a new variant that is cause for concern in South Africa,” virologist Tulio de Oliveira told an online news conference. The B.1.1.529 variant has an “extremely high” number of mutations, according to South African scientists who had previously detected the contagious Beta variant. At this stage, scientists are unsure of the effectiveness of Covid vaccines against this new form of the virus.
South Africa fears a new wave of pandemic
The appearance of this variant is undoubtedly at the origin of the “exponential” increase in contamination in recent weeks, according to the Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, present at the press conference. Other cases have been reported in neighboring Botswana and Hong Kong, in a person returning from a trip to South Africa.
South Africa, which fears a new wave of the pandemic by the end of the year, is officially the worst hit on the continent by the pandemic. It has more than 2.9 million cases and more than 89,600 deaths. The global pandemic is currently dominated by the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, initially detected in India.
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