South Africa has identified a new strain of coronavirus causing the surge in COVID-19 incidence.
Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize said on Friday that they found the new strain after genomics research.
“We have convened this public briefing today to announce that a variant of the SARS-COV-2 Virus – currently termed 501.V2 Variant – has been identified by our genomics scientists here in South Africa,”
“The evidence that has been collated, therefore, strongly suggests that the current second wave we are experiencing is being driven by this new variant,” Mkhize added.
South Africa is Africa’s most affected country with over 20,000 deaths in about 900,000 cases. The country has led research to find a probable local solution to the problem, through research and testing.
The World Health Organisation has also said it has been in communication with South African researchers to compare the similarity of the strains they have found.
British researchers also recently announced a discovery of a new strain of the virus.
“We are working with them with our SARS-COV-2 Virus evolution working group. They are growing the virus in the country and they’re working with researchers to determine any changes in the behaviour of the virus itself in terms of transmission,” epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove told journalists in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to the genomics experts, the strain found in South Africa and the UK have similarities.
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