‘Super mutant’ Covid strain found in Asia, Middle East — Analysis

This new Covid variant is of great concern. It was initially discovered in Botswana. Experts now fear its mutations could allow it to quickly spread, bypassing the existing Covid-19 immunity.

Variant A.1.1.529 is still unknown and has rapidly spread across South Africa, since its first identification in Botswana at the beginning of November. The strain, which is known to have multiple mutations of concern, already accounts for 90% of Covid-19 cases in the South African province of Gauteng – the highveld state home to major cities Pretoria and Johannesburg.  

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New ‘super mutant’ COVID strain prompts EU to seek air travel ban

Many countries have issued flight bans to affected countries due to the widespread spread of the variant throughout southern Africa. The UK has banned South Africa and Namibia flights, as well as those from Botswana, Zimbabwe (Lesotho), Lesotho, Eswatini, and Botswana.

The Israeli health ministry reported Friday that the virus had been identified in Israel. An Israeli returning from Malawi was infected with the virus. According to the ministry, two more people were being tested for infection.

Two cases of the disease have now been identified in Hong Kong, Asia’s financial center. A Covid-19 patient from South Africa arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday and received his genome sequencing results. These confirmed that it was the southern African variant.  

The patient was also accused of wearing a “Selfish” valve-style face mask which allowed the infection to pass to another guest at the quarantine hotel last week. Both had been fully immunized. 

With less than 100 genome sequences for the variant available, the World Health Organization admitted it is not known much. Experts agree. “a large number of mutations,”There are concerns about how this will affect diagnostics, therapy and vaccinations. 

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