December 8, 2021

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South Africa: Don’t call COVID-19 variant as “South African variant”

South Africa: Don’t call COVID-19 variant as “South African variant”

 

South Africa: Don’t call COVID-19 variant as “South African variant”. The new variant of COVID-19 discovered in South Africa is more spreadable but not more deadly, and should not be called a South African variant.

South Africa: Don't call COVID-19 variant as "South African variant"
Picture from Youtube

South African scientists first discovered the new coronavirus variant 501Y.V2 in October last year, and announced the discovery to the public in December last year. On January 18 this year, at a seminar hosted by the Minister of Health of South Africa, the eight scientists who participated in the meeting agreed that although the new coronavirus variant 501Y.V2 may spread more easily and faster, it is not more deadly. The issue of reinfection and the impact on vaccines requires further research.

The eight scientists who led the study of this variant in South Africa explained that 501Y.V2 seems to be more easily spread and faster than previous variants, but it will not cause more serious diseases. Can the antibodies produced by the first wave of epidemics recognize and Killing this new variant remains to be seen. Scientists believe that the current vaccines should be vaccinated based on the current situation, because they are likely to be able to deal with this mutation.

At the seminar, Professor Karim, the co-chair of the South African COVID-19 Virus Ministerial Advisory Committee, said that this variant is easier to spread than other variants, so it spreads faster. He said this is evident in the biological structure research and the data on new cases in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Karim said that when he first learned about the variant, the most worrying thing was that its structure has changed, so that it has a stronger affinity with human cells and is easier to bind to human cells, which makes transmission easier.

Researchers have noticed that in the second wave of outbreaks in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu Natal, the number of COVID-19 pneumonia cases has increased sharply. This new variant appeared in late October last year, before the second wave of outbreaks in South Africa began. Karim added that there are more cases and deaths seen today than any day during the first wave. The rapid increase in cases was accompanied by more hospitalizations and deaths, but the proportion of hospitalized cases at the peak of the two epidemics was similar. In addition, according to research, the ratio of hospital admissions to deaths remains the same.

He explained that the proportion of positive test results in South Africa has increased, and the positive rate at the peak of the second wave is 32% higher than the peak of the first wave. This drastic change is driven by a virus that biologically seems to be able to attach to human cells more efficiently. This amazing growth is evident in all provinces.

At the meeting, scientists believed that vaccination should not be postponed, and that vaccination is even more important than answering all these research questions.

South African scientists also urge everyone to call this variant by the name 501Y.V2 instead of “South African variant” to eliminate this misleading stigma. There are variants all over the world, even if they are found in one country, it is uncertain whether they are the origin.

 

(source:internet, reference only)


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