- The P.1 Covid-19 variant has reportedly been found in 20 countries after first being identified in Brazil
- The variant can reportedly reinfect those who have previously contracted and recovered from the virus
- Experts believe that the variant emerged in November 2020 but the first case was identified on 6 December
A Covid-19 variant identified as P.1 in Brazil has now been found in around 20 other countries. The variant can reportedly reinfect people who previously recovered from Covid-19. Preliminary research revealed the chance of reinfection is between 25% and 60%.
According to scientists, the variant is highly transmissible. Research suggests the variant emerged around early November and spread quickly causing many reinfections.
Nuno Faria, a virus expert at Imperial College London, said the P.1 variant was first identified on 6 December adding that the proportion of the variant grew by 87% in approximately eight weeks.
The BBC reported that although the data is preliminary it fits expects suspects that some of the new variants are more infections and could possibly evade immunity people have already built against the virus.
A report by TimesLIVE stated that Faria added that there was no conclusive evidence to suggest, at this point, that current Covid-19 vaccines won't work against the P.1 variant.
In similar news, Briefly.co.za previously reported that the third wave of Covid-19 infections may arrive sooner. Professor Shabir Madhi, prof of vaccinology at Wits University, believes that coronavirus numbers will rise towards May, following Easter.
Prof Madhi was speaking on Monday during a leadership dialogue hosted by Wits Business School. He says that easing regulations before the Easter holiday season could result in the third wave arriving much sooner than expected. Prior predictions suggested the third wave would be arriving towards the winter months (June onwards).
Easter is a big religious holiday that will be celebrated on 4 April and experts believe that the gatherings associated with the holiday will cause a resurgence in numbers.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country to Alert Level One. Ramaphosa had a range of new measures in place as sites for vaccination will be expanded across the country, including rural area.
New admissions to hospitals have fallen, as well as deaths and less than 10 000 new infections have been reported compared to December last year when South Africa recorded close to 90 000 new cases.
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