WHO is monitoring the latest Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 which was first detected in South Africa. The World Health Organization held a meeting on the latest South Africa covid variant on 26.11.2021 (Friday) to talk about if the highly mutated strain will turn a variant of emphasis or a variant to take seriously a top official asserted.
State Of The Latest South Africa Covid Variant
The latest covid variant is the highly mutated version that has been discovered as of now. This strain was first identified in South Africa at the beginning of the last week and it has already spread to the neighboring nations that include Botswana, where it was reported in people who are completely vaccinated.
The new South Africa covid variant has been red flagged by the scientists over a crucial high number of raised mutations that might turn the virus more resistant to vaccines, raise its transmissibility and lead to more crucial symptoms of Covid-19. According to Maria Van Kerkhove who is the Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and COVID-19 Technical Lead at the WHO,
She said presently the researchers were coming together to evaluate where these spike and mutation proteins are and what that potentially may imply for COVID19 therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines.
Kerkhove further said that WHO colleagues in South Africa are aiming to undertake a neutralization research that will require a few weeks for them to evaluate what implications this variant has on any potential vaccines.
Focusing that a great deal of work is afoot on the latest South Africa covid variant, Kerkhove told the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution is talking about this with colleagues residing in South Africa. She further said that,
So presently, it is a variant that is under screening. The TAG Virus Evolution working group will talk about if it will change into a variant of interest or a variant of concern. And if that is the scenario, then WHO will give it a Greek name. But it is something to look for the timing.
Kerkhove further noted that it is nice that these forms of variants are being caught as that implies there is a system in place that is operating. The World Health Organization has said that only 27% of health workers in Africa have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19, keeping the bulk of the working population on the frontlines versus the pandemic unprotected.
After nearly four months of a sustained reduction, COVID-19 cases in the normal population in Africa have increased. For the first time since the peak of the third wave in August, South Africa covid cases have risen, jumping to 48% in the week ending on November 21 as compared with the previous week.
As of now, more than 227 million covid vaccine doses have been allotted in Africa. In 39 nations that offered data, 3.9 million doses have been allotted to the health workers. According to Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa,
As per the report issued by the World Health Organization, the shipment of vaccines has been on the rise for the past 3 months. Africa has gained 330 million doses from the COVAX Facility. Of these nearly 83% of vaccines have been offered since August alone. As the supply of vaccines picks up, addressing the increased bottleneck and escalating rollouts became more important.
South Africa Covid Variant: Sport Set Shutdown In The Country
The South African sport witnessed a shutdown on Friday because of the detection of the latest South Africa covid variant, with its rugby teams confused to leave before any travel guidelines restrictions are imposed and the initial event of the golf’s latest look DP World Tour under threat.
4 rugby teams were scheduled to play South African opposition against United Rugby Championship but Welsh clubs Scarlets and Cardiff asserted that they were searching to exit as Britain may impose travel restrictions on foreigners. Cardiff on Twitter said,
They further said,
Germany To Ban Travelers For The New South Africa Covid Variant
Germany is planning to ban most of the travelers from South Africa to prevent the spread of the latest covid-19 variant with a huge number of mutations, according to Jens Spahn, the acting Health Minister of Germany.
As per the latest regulations that started from Friday night will be imposed on South Africa and the neighboring nations where only German nationals will be offered the permission to enter. They must be in quarantine for 14 days on arrival even if they are completely vaccinated. He said,
Indian Prime Minister Chairs Meeting On Covid-19
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi chaired a crucial meeting on the Covid scenario and the vaccination scenario is the nation with the top government official, as per sources. The meeting arises in between the increasing global concerns over the latest variant of covid in South Africa. The South Africa covid variant name is “Omicron” which has been kept by the World Health Organization and is categorized as a highly transmissible virus of concern.
The meeting on South Africa covid variant, India was attended by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, PK Mishra, NITI Aayog member (health) Dr. V K Paul, and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan among others.
India witnessed a single day increase of 8,318 new covid infections, taking the total tally of the nation to 3,45,63,749, while the count of active covid cases has decreased to 1,07,019 which is the lowest in the past 541 days as per the data uploaded by the Union Health Ministry.
The death rate due to this disease has increased to 4,67,933 with 465 daily casualties being reported. The total number of covid vaccine doses that have been allotted in this country as of now has crossed 120.96 crores as per the report by the ministry.
The Bottom Line
The latest covid variant grew immensely in South Africa and its neighboring countries. This latest South Africa covid variant is said to be more transmissible and has been termed as a critical variant. Many activities in the country have been paused because of this rising coronavirus scenario and countries like Germany have imposed travel restrictions for the travelers from South Africa to prevent further spread of this variant.