South African Corona variant endangering the world

Thanks to a combination of infection and vaccinations Britain might be nearer the end of its pandemic than any other country in Europe, whilst those countries are having to face a new more dangerous variant, called B.1.1.529 — which has been identified in South Africa.

At present in the UK there are about 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 a week, approximately 15,000 of which have been since “freedom day” in July.

The new variant of the coronavirus, B.1.1.529 nicknamed the Nu variant, carries a high number of mutations in its spike protein, which plays a key role in the virus’ entry into cells in the body. It’s also what is targeted by vaccines. It is the most heavily mutated version discovered so far – and it has such a long list of mutations that it was described by one scientist as “horrific”.
Researchers are still trying to determine whether it is more transmissible or more lethal than previous strains.

So far, SARS-CoV-2’s most devastating impacts have been in developed countries. The U.S., U.K. and European Union have accounted for about a third of deaths, compared to their roughly 10% share of the world’s population.

Fears that the strain could fuel outbreaks in many countries and pressure health systems, potentially evading vaccines and complicating efforts to reopen economies and borders sent a wave of risk aversion across global markets Friday. U.S. stock futures, European equity indexes and crude oil tumbled while Treasuries rallied.

From the original strain in China, to the Delta lineage picked up in India, the Gamma variety isolated in Brazil and the Beta and latest Nu strains from South Africa, only the U.K.-related Alpha variant has emerged outside these countries.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser to the UK Health Security Agency, said the R value, or effective reproduction number, of the B.1.1.529 variant in the South African province of Gauteng, where it was first found, was now 2 – a level of transmission not recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, before restrictions began to be imposed. For an R of anything above 1, an epidemic will grow exponentially. {What do we know about the new ‘worst ever’ Covid variant}

South Africa, has confirmed about 100 specimens as B.1.1.529, but the variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong. As many as 90% of new cases in Gauteng could be B.1.1.529, scientists believe. Hong Kong and Botswana have identified just 59 cases of the variant, so far, while Israeli media also reports one case has been identified from a traveller. Fearing travellers from South Africa will bring it into their country, governments around the world have started issuing bans on travellers from South Africa and nearby countries.

The European Union’s executive said Friday it wants to stop air travel from southern Africa to counter the spread of a new COVID-19 variant. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement that she proposes, in close coordination with the member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region.

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Preceding

Fourth wave of COVID-19 a pandemic of the unvaccinated

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Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

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