As South Africa’s Covid version causes panic, WHO to meet today

New Delhi: The new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529, first detected in South Africa, will be discussed during the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting. The meeting is held to assess whether this heavily mutated virus is the “type of interest” or the “type of concern”.

The virus, discovered earlier this week, has already spread to neighboring countries such as Botswana and some cases have also been reported in Hong Kong and Israel, the report said. It has been reported that the virus has been detected in fully vaccinated individuals.

Scientists have raised a red flag about the new variant due to the huge increase in the number of spike mutations of the virus.

Experts suspect that this may increase the ability to spread infection, the virus’s immunity to vaccines and severe symptoms of Kovid-19.

Maria Van Kirkhove, Covid-19 technical chief and infectious disease epidemiologist at WHO, said, “TThere are less than 100 whole genome sequences available. We don’t know much about this yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the worry is, when you have so many mutations, it can affect how the virus behaves. ,

“TeaResearchers were getting together to understand where these mutations and spike proteins are and what it could potentially mean for COVID19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines,” she further added as per a PTI report.

She also pointed out that experts in South Africa could launch a neutral study that would take a few weeks to determine the effect of this type on potential vaccines.

Ms Kerkhove said it was “nice” that such forms are being detected because it means there is a system that is working.

According to the report, the cases are increasing in the African continent after four months of continuous decline. According to the report, since the peak of the third wave of Kovid-19 in Africa in August, this is the first time that cases in South Africa have increased by 48 percent in the last week of November compared to the previous week.

(with PTI inputs)

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