The outbreak of coronavirus worldwide has impacted tremendously on countries. Economic plunge, food insecurity, deaths, and unrest are crises people have battled amid the pandemic. Sadly, the pandemic is still on the rise, especially with reports of the virus’s new variant making headlines. South Africa and the United Kingdom appears to be the very first states to have reported such cases. Countries had banned flights to the UK for fear of spreading the virus. Throughout the whole festive season, UK has been on lockdown. South Africa, on the other hand, has also initiated COVID-19 restrictions as the virus keeps thriving.
What is the New COVID-19 Variant?
The new Variant of COVID-19 first emerged in the UK around September last year. Researchers identified the variant to be of SARS-CoV- 2 viruses. Laboratories across the globe have been racing to unpick the biology of these viruses. Scientists are eager to determine why the new variants in South Africa and the UK seem to be spreading quickly. And they are trying to identify whether new variants can diminish the power of vaccines or defeat natural immunity.
Variant Spikes Up
New cases of coronavirus have escalated in South Africa following the emergence of the new virus variants. Scientists state that the new COVID-19 variant is spreading at a rate they have never seen before. Houriiyah Tegally, the bioinformatician who discovered the new virus variant, reported that the novel virus was inevitable.
“The virus is evolving and more spreads in an uncontrolled manner in many places across the world. The more chances we are giving the virus to develop, the more opportunities we are offering the virus to infect immunocompromised patients and for such new variants to escape,” Tegally said.
Since there are a variety of new variants, the scientists are not sure about the origin. Therefore, they have theorized that the variants are coming from immunocompromised patients.
Researchers Test the New Variant
Following surging cases of the new variants, scientists are bracing about figuring what the variant might be. And they are also wondering what significance the variant has on the effectiveness of the vaccines currently being administered. The first lab results are already out, and more are to come in the next couple of days.
President Ramaphosa Endorses New COVID-19 Variant Vaccine
On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa announced that the country would adopt a major vaccination plan. The strategy aims to reach all parts of the country, including those with poor road networks. However, poor transport routes will be a great challenge as the health officials won’t have access to some parts, especially remote areas. Mr. Ramaphosa is optimistic the vaccination process will be successful. He also stated that they were looking to train about 6500 vaccinators. Each of the vaccinators will immunize about 50 people daily.
Mr. Ramaphosa is confident that the process will kick off with ease and success, just like what they did with HIV treatment campaigns some years ago. Because of their persistence, South Africa is currently the largest HIV treatment campaign center in the world. Hopefully, South Africa and the world at large would overcome the pandemic.