- Global researchers have detected a new Covid19 variant in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong
- The new coronavirus variant is of concern to scientists because it has more than 30 mutations
- South Africans are not really concerned about the variant but are more concerned that another lockdown is on the way
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JOHANNESBURG - A new Covid19 variant that is said to carry a very high number of mutations has reportedly been found in Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong.
There are currently only 10 cases that have been definitively confirmed to be the Covid19 variant in the three countries.
The B.1.1.529 variant has raised concerns to scientists because it has 32 mutations in the spike protein. The spike protein is the part of the coronavirus that is used in the vaccine to target the virus in the immune system, according to The Guardian.
In addition to affecting the virus's capacity to infect cells and disseminate, mutations in the spike protein make it more difficult for immune cells to combat the infection.
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There is still little information on the variant and scientists will keep an eye on it to see whether it develops traction.
South Africa sees a massive increase in Covid19 infections
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says the Gauteng province has accounted for 1 018 new infections of Covid19 out of 1 275 new cases across the country.
Prof Tulio de Oliveira, a University of KwaZulu-Natal geneticist, says the sharp increase in news cases in Gauteng is evidence that the fourth wave of infections is fast approaching, according to TimesLIVE.
South Africans react to the B.1.1.529 variant
Heading to social media, South Africans have shared their thoughts on the new variant and many were concerned that another hard lockdown could be on the cards.
Here's what they had to say:
"Lockdown!? This time only your government officials will be on lockdown. WATCH."
"It’s in the lab waiting for proof of payment - we know "
"We don't want lockdowns its enough now, we're fed up."
"A direct result of the "leaky" vaccines which were designed for the original strain of Covid. Many of the world's leading vax experts have been warning about EXACTLY this outcome since the "vax everybody on the planet" drive began..."
"Kanti these Variants Viruses only start in SA then spread to other countries? Mmmhhh"
"Why are these guys so predictable, it was known that their virus was on hold until the elections are over."
"There are countries who are having sporting events with full capacity and this virus choose to come all the way to SA and Botswana, this diamond is getting us killed I tell you!!!!"
"Eish, these Western countries are going to use Botswana and South Africa to scare people and continue with this evil of theirs."
"Stock up, take leave before the 16th December before ivalwa iCountry...we are in for a bumpy ride "
Covid19: Lockdown not necessary as 4th wave approaches
Briefly News previously reported that Professor Mosa Moshabela from the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Vaccinology department says that it may not be necessary for South Africa to enter into a lockdown as the fourth wave approaches.
The fourth wave of Covid-19 is predicted to sweep South Africa from either mid-December 2021 or early January 2022. According to Joe Phaahla, South Africa's health minister, the fourth wave should be the mildest one South Africa has experienced so far.
Phaahla said that despite this, the government is monitoring the number of infections and hospital admissions and will adjust restrictions if need be. As 40% of South Africans are vaccinated, the fourth wave should be less severe.