New COVID-19 mutation discovered in South Africa
New Covid-19 mutation discovered. In South Africa, scientists have found a new mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic. This was announced on Friday, December 18, by the Minister of Health of South Africa Zveli Mhize.
“We organized a briefing today to announce that our geneticists here in South Africa have discovered a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so far named 501.V2,” he tweeted.
The head of the Ministry of Health said that a team of geneticists has been studying samples of the new coronavirus since March, and it is this variant of the virus that has recently become predominant in the country, and it also has three mutations.
Mkhize noted that more and more young patients without concomitant diseases are in critical condition due to coronavirus infection. According to him, there are “early signs” that the second wave in the country is spreading faster than the first. As the minister added, people infected with the new variant of COVID-19 have a higher viral load than patients with other strains of coronavirus. This can cause the infection to spread more quickly. Whether there are more deaths from the coronavirus is still unclear.
The head of the South African medical department, despite concerns about the new mutation of the virus, urged not to panic and wear masks.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in South Africa, according to the Worldometer portal, about 901.5 thousand people have been infected with the coronavirus, more than 24 thousand have died.
On December 16, Rospotrebnadzor reported that the COVID-19 strains circulating in Russia do not have significant changes. The department stressed that the new coronavirus infection has a relatively low rate of variability.
On December 13, the head of the British Ministry of Health Matt Hancock announced the discovery in the country of a new variant of the coronavirus, which, presumably, can spread faster. According to him, about 1,000 infections with a new type of coronavirus have been registered in 60 different areas in the south of England. In response, the next day, the WHO said that there is no evidence that a new mutation of the coronavirus found in the UK seriously affects the structure of the virus.