This was announced by Health Minister Joe Bhalla at a press conference on Thursday.
Cases are numerous, and they are spreading rapidly among young people in the country’s most populous region, according to the AP news agency. Bhalla describes the increase in the number of cases in recent days as dramatic.
“In recent days, there has been a steady increase,” he said.
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Researchers are watching the variant to see if it evolves to become more deadly or spreads faster, but that takes time. It is still uncertain how many cases are attributable to the new surge, but the health minister nonetheless stated that the variable explains the higher number of infected people.
The virus variant bears the name B.1.1.529, and has so far been detected in South African travelers in Botswana and Hong Kong.
The World Health Organization will hold a meeting on Friday, where it will discuss whether the newly discovered mutation will get its name from the Greek alphabet.
Expect to increase pressure on the health sector
Virologist Tulio de Oliveira closely followed the development of the virus in the country, and said at the press conference that the virus has a set of new mutations.
– He said that the very large number of mutations is worrying, and added that this may be the reason behind the infection boom that the country is experiencing now.
This virus variant contains more than 30 mutations, which affect transmissibility.
– We see that the variable can be predicted very quickly. “We expect to see increased pressure on the health sector within a few days and weeks,” Oliveira said.
England on Thursday expressed concern about the newly discovered boom, and according to Watchman They are now closing the borders to planes coming from the area while researching how dangerous it is.
According to British Health Minister Sajid Javid, the concern is that the new variant may be more contagious than the dominant delta variant, and that vaccines may be less effective against it.
Flights from South Africa will be banned from the country, and six countries will end up on England’s red list after scientists sounded the alarm that this could be the most dangerous type of coronavirus discovered so far.
Hundreds of people who have recently arrived in England from South Africa will be contacted and offered tests in an effort to avoid spreading the mutation.
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