Sumary of S.Africa COVID variant worries UK, Israel:
- Credit: APShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail UsCopy the LinkA newly identified coronavirus variant that has spread in South Africa is the most concerning British health officials have seen as it has double the number of mutations of the Delta variant including some associated with evading immune response.
- The UK Health Security Agency said that the variant – called B.
- 1.1.529 – has a spike protein that was dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based on.
- “What we do know is there’s a significant number of mutations, perhaps double the number of mutations that we have seen in the Delta variant,” Britain’s Health Minister Sajid Javid told broadcasters.
- Earlier on Thursday, South African scientists said they had detected the new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and were working to understand its potential implications.
- The variant has a “very unusual constellation” of mutations, which are concerning because they could help it evade the body’s immune response and make it more transmissible, the scientists told reporters at a news conference.
- The UK Health Security Agency said that no cases of the variant had been detected in Britain and they were in contact with South African colleagues over their data.