SA Scientists Discover 2 Covid19 Subvariants, Threaten to Withhold Information if Travel Restrictions Imposed

SA Scientists Discover 2 Covid19 Subvariants, Threaten to Withhold Information if Travel Restrictions Imposed

  • South African scientists have found two new Covid-19 omicron sub-variants that have been detected in various countries
  • Scientist Tulio de Oliveira warns that epidemiologists will stop sharing their research if travel bans are implemented against SA
  • De Oliveira said that the subvariants are more transmissible but less likely to cause death or hospitalisation

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JOHANNESBURG - Two new Covid-19 omicron sub-variants have been discovered by South African scientists, who warn they will stop sharing their research internationally if it leads to more travel bans.

Head of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation at Stellenbosch University, Tulio de Oliveira, was one of the first scientists to initially share data on omicron, which led to South Africans being banned from travelling to several countries.

He said that BA.4 and BA.5 variants are similar to the initial omicron virus and as more sub-variants emerge; they are more likely to be transmissible. He added that the variants are prevalent in South Africa but have also been detected in 10 other countries.

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South Africa, scientists, discover, 2 subvariants covid-19, travel restrictions, Tulio de Oliveira
South African scientists have discovered two new Covid-19 omicron sub-variants. Image: Getty
Source: Getty Images

De Oliveira said the hospitalisations and deaths are still relatively low in the country. During an interview with eNCA, he said, the variants will be less deathly since the country has a higher vaccination rate.

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Travel bans are ineffective against the spread, and it is unlikely that South Africans will be banned from international travel. He said that the travel bans against south Africa were “unfair, unscientific and unfunctional”.

TimesLIVE reported that scientists are working to decide whether the effects are a major cause for concern.

Social media reacts to the new variants

@bakanadioblaise said:

"Why most of these Covid-22 variants are only discovered in SA and not any other part of Africa? Stop being manipulated by the WHO."

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@Gen_rev66 commented:

"Nowhere has an isolated sample been shown to public or independent experts but it sure as heck has mutations like stories growing tails."

@Windie284 shared:

"Hai.... we are tired of this Covid thing."

@RobbyDS3 wrote:

"More fear, more unknowns and more doubt. Rather work and support my family and friends than worry about another variant."

@eldrid70 said:

"I am so damn tired to hear that more variants of the same variant have been discovered. I think they try to keep Covid-19 relevant and news worthy now."

Absa Life predicts that 5th Covid19 wave will be less serious, Government urges citizens to take the jab

Briefly News also reported that the fifth Covid-19 wave is predicted to be less servere, than the others according to Absa Life.

The insurer has noted that fewer infections could mean the virus can be demotivated from a pandemic to an endemic. One-third of the R423 million in provisions for the coming wave has been allocated by the bank life insurer.

CEO of the institute, Eugene Strauss, said the fourth wave was positive as there were not many deaths reported as opposed to deaths in the previous waves. He said that while it’s too early to say if the pandemic has turned into an endemic, the situation will be monitored, according to Fin24.

Source: Briefly News

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