New Covid-19 mutant found in South Africa spreads more swiftly

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Dec 24, 2020, 12:07 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in South Africa Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The new coronavirus strain has affected many young people and those with no pre-existing health conditions.

The scientists in South Africa believe that the news Covid-19 mutant found in the country is likely to be more transmissible, may hit young people harder, and maybe slightly more resistant to vaccines.

Also read | New COVID-19 strain from South Africa detected in UK: Health secretary Matt Hancock

The new strain, called the 501.V2 Variant, was first discovered in South African province Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.

South African Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the new COVID-19 strain has three mutations and has spread in South Africa. The first case of this COVID-19 mutant was reported in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The new coronavirus strain has affected many young people and those with no pre-existing health conditions.

Dr Richard Lessells, an infectious diseases expert in South Africa, said the efficacy of existing vaccines against this variant could not be ascertained. Another red flag was the possibility of reinfection in those people who have already contracted coronavirus.

Meanwhile, with reports of a new strain over eight countries have so far closed doors to passengers coming from South Africa. Germany, Turkey, Israel, Switzerland, the UK, Uzbekistan and the Netherlands aren’t permitting any flights from South Africa to enter their country.

South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that people experiencing no symptoms have been testing positive for the virus, adding, "The evidence that has been collated, therefore, strongly suggests that the current second wave we are experiencing is being driven by this new variant," reported ANI.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App