Kaya 959 Reporter
A new variant of the COVID 19 virus has been detected in three countries, including SA.
The variant has reportedly also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong.
According to Health 24, the new variant is known as B.1.1.529, and has 32 mutations in the spike protein – the part of the virus that latches onto human cells, which most vaccines target. Mutations refer to individual changes in the virus’ genetic code.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Thursday confirmed the detection of a new variant in the country.
In a statement, the NICD said twenty-two positive cases of variant B.1.1.529 have been recorded in South Africa “following genomic sequencing collaborations between the NICD and private laboratories.
BREAKING NEWS: We confirm that through collaborative efforts with private laboratories and the NGS-SA members, a new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa. Read more here https://t.co/0ht7nmMkJg
— NICD (@nicd_sa) November 25, 2021
Thee NICD has also confirmed that 22 positive cases of variant B.1.1.529 have been recorded in South Africa.
Prof Adrian Puren, NICD Acting Executive Director says they are monitoring this new variant.
“Although the data are limited, our experts are working overtime with all the established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be. Developments are occurring at a rapid pace and the public has our assurance that we will keep them up to date.”