- It has been revealed that the 501Y.V2 Covid-19 variant, first identified in SA, is able to neutralise itself
- This was revealed by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande
- Nzimande spoke with scientists and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday about the research conducted into the variant
Scientists have revealed that those infected by the 501Y.V2 Covid-19 variant are not only protected against this strain but also against earlier mutations.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize were joined by experts while giving an update on local research conducted on the 501Y.V2 variant on Wednesday.
Nzimande says the new research shows that the variant, first identified in South Africa, generates an immune response that allows it to neutralise itself and against prior mutations.
eNCA reported that the announcement was made early on Wednesday while a report by EWN stated that scientists found the 501Y.V2 variant may be more transmissible but it does not cause more severe forms of the virus.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the Brazil Covid variant may be more contagious and spread easily. The 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.
In similar news, Briefly.co.za 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).
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