New COVID-19 variant: Govt issues alert over South African strain; 10 points to know

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The Union Health Ministry, connected November 25, issued an alert for the B.1.1.529 variant of coronavirus, which was detected successful South Africa. The ministry directed states and Union Territories (UTs) to guarantee “rigorous screening and testing” of each planetary travellers landing successful India from countries that are ‘at risk’.

Confirmed cases of the caller variant person been reported from South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana.

In a missive to each states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote, "This variant is reported to person a importantly precocious fig of mutations, and thus, has superior nationalist wellness implications for the country, successful presumption of precocious relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of planetary travel."

Here are 10 cardinal points you request to cognize astir B.1.1.529 variant of Covid-19

1. South African scientists person confirmed astir 100 cases of B.1.1.529 but the variant has besides been identified successful Botswana and Hong Kong. The lawsuit identified successful Hong Kong is simply a traveller from South Africa. The variant was archetypal spotted successful Botswana and lone 10 cases person been confirmed via genomic sequencing truthful far.

2. “Although the information are limited, our experts are moving overtime with each the established surveillance systems to recognize the caller variant and what the imaginable implications could be,” South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases said successful a statement.

3. South Africa was the archetypal state to observe the Beta variant past year. Beta is 1 of the lone 4 labelled “of concern” by the WHO due to the fact that it is comparatively much contagious and COVID-19 vaccines enactment little good against it.

4. South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla noted it was excessively aboriginal to accidental that whether the authorities would enforce tougher restrictions successful effect to the recently discovered variant.

5. Director of Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) Tulio de Oliviera besides appealed to billionaires similar Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong and Warren Buffett arsenic good arsenic planetary institutions similar World Bank and IMF to enactment Africa and South Africa financially successful their combat against COVID-19 variants.

6. Australian authorities has said it is investigating the recently identified variant spreading successful South Africa. The authorities has besides warned that it whitethorn adjacent borders to travellers from the African nations if risks from the caller strain rise.

7. UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid tweeted, “COVID-19 UPDATE: UKHSA is investigating a caller variant. More information is needed but we’re taking precautions now. From noon tomorrow, six African countries volition beryllium added to the reddish list, flights volition beryllium temporarily banned, and UK travellers indispensable quarantine.”

8. Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson said B.1.1529 has an “unprecedented” fig of mutations successful the spike macromolecule and is driving a caller accelerated summation successful the fig of cases successful South Africa.

9. UK Health Security Agency has besides expressed its interest astir the recently identified variant of the caller coronavirus spreading successful South Africa that could marque vaccination little effective. The bureau said this variant has a spike macromolecule that is antithetic from the 1 successful the archetypal coronavirus connected which the vaccines are based.

10. The WHO has designated 4 variants of the caller coronavirus arsenic “variants of concern” – Alpha oregon the UK variant (B.1.17), Beta oregon the South African variant (B.1.351), Gamma oregon the Brazil variant (P.1) and Delta oregon the Indian variant (B.1.617.2).

(With bureau inputs)

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