Covid type B.1.1529 surfaced in South Africa: Here’s what we know



A man enters the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 15, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images



The World Health Organization will meet on Friday in which a new The heavily-mutated version of Covid-19,

WHO officials said the variant, known as B.1.1.529, has been found in small numbers in South Africa. The variant contains more than 30 mutations for the spike protein, the component of the virus that binds to cells, South African scientist Tulio de Oliveira said at a media briefing organized by South Africa’s health department on Thursday.



This is significantly higher than the delta version, which spread like wildfire earlier this year to become the dominant strain around the world. Health officials have said that many of these mutations are associated with increased antibody resistance, which can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and affect the behavior of the virus with respect to vaccines, treatments and infections.

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said in a live-streamed Q&A that scientists “don’t know a lot about it yet” and that it is difficult to gain a full picture of how the variant reacts. It will take a few weeks for existing vaccines.



UK immediately moved to ban flights From South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini and Zimbabwe on Friday from noon to Sunday from 4 a.m. local time.

The UK’s Health Protection Agency is investigating the version, which Health Secretary Sajid Javid said is “potentially related.” No cases have been identified in the UK yet

The first genome of the new variant was uploaded to the international GISAID database on 22 November, but the genomes now uploaded from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong are not yet known.

Cases so far are concentrated in Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous region and home to nearly 16 million people, South African Health Minister Joe Fahala said during Thursday’s briefing.

NS South African Rand Nosed Against Friday morning over 16.2 Dollar As investors ran for cover.

The new development comes as cases of COVID-19 increase in the winter months around the world, with many countries in Europe notably seeing record spikes, and strict containment measures being implemented.

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