South Africa virus strain more contagious, experts confirm

19 Janvier, 2021, 23:35 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Researchers that took part in the new Covid-19 variant study

He was speaking during a webinar hosted by the Department of Health.

Karim used the Western Cape for example to shed light on the speed of the virus.

Scientists have new biological evidence that the so-called South African coronavirus variant binds more readily and strongly to human cells, making it more infectious, top local epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim said on Monday.

British scientists and politicians have expressed concern that vaccines now being deployed or in development could be less effective against the South African variant.

Meanwhile, one research study found that the new variant stayed longer in human cells.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim joined Breakfast with Martin Bester to also talk about everything you need to know about COVID-19 in SA right now. "In the first week of January, all the provinces recorded a high number of positive cases". "Furthermore, work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population", Akufo-Addo said.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim during the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly 29-31 Jan 2015
Professor Salim Abdool Karim during the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly 29-31 Jan 2015

"The current data indicates that the virus is not causing more severe disease, but it is putting huge pressure on hospitals and we may see in due course an increase that's just from the lack of hospital beds and the pressure on the healthcare system, but certainly at this stage we are not seeing an increase in mortality rates". "Covid-19 in-hospital monthly case fatality ratio by age group shows little change across waves".

The researchers are concerned because the vaccines target the spikes on top of the virus, and this variant has mutations in two different regions of the spike.

Natural antibodies were less effective in fighting against the new variant as it was noted to be able to escape antibodies.

President Akufo-Addo in his 22 COVID 19 address disclosed that new strains of the virus have been discovered in the country. However, there is no evidence that it causes a more severe COVID-19 infection. "When we will get the vaccine is dependent on the government of South Africa".

"The vaccine rollout is not going to be easy or quick". Yesterday, we noted a 23% drop in new cases nationally compared to seven days before.

The decline in infections "could be attributable to many factors, including enhanced physical distancing facilitated by lockdown regulations", Mkhize said.

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