“At first it looked like cluster explosions, but since yesterday there have been indications from our scientists in the genetic monitoring network that our scientists have noticed a new difference,” Health Minister Joe Fahla said, adding that it was not clear where the difference was. Currently – as of p. 1.129. It is called – first released.
Bahla added that so far a person has been found who traveled from South Africa, Botswana and South Africa to Hong Kong.
Professor Tulio de Oliveira, director of the Center for Infection Response and Detection, said the asymmetry was “more mutated than we expected” and that it “is spreading much faster and we expect to see pressure on the next health system in a few days and weeks.”
He advised the audience to “try to avoid very popular events.”
Officials expressed concern that the mutation could cause immunosuppression and increased spread of the virus, but said it was too early to say what kind of effect the mutations might have on the performance of the vaccine. Officials said more studies are needed to understand the clinical severity of the variant compared to previous types.
“The full meaning of this difference is still uncertain and the best tool we have is vaccines,” de Oliveira said. He said lab tests are still required to test the vaccine and knock out the antibodies.
UK bans flights from 6 African countries
British officials announced on Thursday that six African countries will be added to the UK’s “red list” of travel due to concerns about the volatility of the NHS.
British Health Minister Sajid Javid said flights to the UK from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will be suspended from Friday afternoon and all six countries will be added to the red list. Those returning from their departure destinations will have to undergo a 10-day isolation at their own expense.
Javid said the UK “has not detected any of these new variables” in the country so far.
On Friday, South African officials will explain to the World Health Organization that B.1.1.529 has been classified as a “controlled variation.”
CNN’s Duarte Mendonca contributed to this report.
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