Further research needed to determine whether new coronavirus variant in SA is more deadly: WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the mutation of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom and South Africa is not unexpected and more research needs to be conducted to determine whether they can cause severe disease or mortality.

The UK is battling to contain a new variant of the virus, which is more contagious, much like the one that has emerged in South Africa.

Many countries have already implemented travel bans for both countries.

“In the past few days, there have been reports of new variants of the COVID-19 virus in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Viruses mutate over time; that’s natural and expected. The UK reported that this new variant transmits more easily but there is no evidence so far that it’s more likely to cause severe disease or mortality. The WHO is working with scientists to understand how these genetic changes affect how the virus behaves,” says WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

WHO updates on developments in coronavirus pandemic: 

The new variant was confirmed in  South Africa last week.  The variant started spreading in the Eastern Cape and has spread along the Garden Route before spreading to KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, and other parts of the country.

Garden Route was declared a coronavirus hotspot along with Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman district. Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and Gauteng are leading the second wave of the pandemic in South Africa.

 

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