New potential Covid variant found in SA

New potential Covid variant found in SA

Scientists in South Africa are working around the clock to collect data on a potential new coronavirus variant discovered in the country.

One of the six robots of the Circolo di Varese hospital stands near a patient, on April 3, 2020, to help the healthcare staff of the High Intensity Medicine department to assist twelve patients suffuring from the epedemic Covid-19, caused by the novel cor

This comes just two months after the Health Department sounded the alarm on the Delta variant that saw a spike in infections and hospitalisations.


According to analyses, traces of the new C.1.2 lineage have been detected across the majority of the country’s provinces  and several other countries. 


Director for Research and Innovation at the University of KZN, Professor Tulio de Oliveira, said on Monday that leading scientists will continue to monitor the spread of the variant and are currently assessing whether it has increased transmissibility.


But experts don’t believe there is cause for concern yet.


“At the moment, it’s circulating in seven provinces in South Africa but at low prevalence.


“Why we decided to publish these results and make them public is because it is important to know about this new lineage of a potential variant as soon as possible so we can strengthen genomic surveillance.


“We know that the C1.2 was a lineage that emerged in South Africa during the first wave and that lineage went dormant, we couldn’t detect it after the Beta and after the Delta but now we start detecting this lineage again, which added a lot of mutations,” de Oliveira explains.


De Oliveira added the World health Organisation has been flagged on the potential variant.


“We did discuss this lineage with the World Health Organisation around two weeks ago and the main feedback is that we should wait and strengthen genomic surveillance to see its increasing prevalence.


“If there’s increasing prevalence then it would be reassessed by the World Health Organisation as a variant of interest. 


“At the moment, it’s just a lineage to keep a close eye but it’s not yet a variant of interest and far away from a variant of concern.”


The news comes amid the country’s stubborn third wave of infections. 


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