The danger is increasing due to the new variant of Corona found in South Africa and Botswana. In view of this, the WHO has called an emergency meeting on Friday. British scientists also warned about the new variant found in Botswana. There are 32 mutations in it, due to which even the vaccine is not effective against it. This variant is spreading rapidly by modifying its spike protein.
South Africa’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases said – So far 22 cases of this variant have been found in the country. Scientists have named it B.1.1.529. It has been described as a variant of serious concern. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical head of the Corona case at WHO, said – We have not received much information about this variant. Due to multiple mutations, the behavior of the virus is changing and this is a matter of concern.
Britain’s tough stand
In view of the danger of the new variant, the UK has stopped flights to 6 countries of Africa for the time being. These include South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Eswatini. UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said – The country’s health agency is investigating the new variant. We need more data, but we are taking precautions. These 6 African countries will be put on the Red List and travelers coming to Britain will have to stay in Quarantine.
A new variant also found in Hong Kong
Infection of this variant has also been found in people who reached Hong Kong from South Africa. The new variant was first detected in 2 people staying at the Regal Airport hotel. According to Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP), the investigation revealed that both the cases belong to the B.1.1.529 variant. The first person wore a mask with an air valve and it was because of this mask that the virus got infected in the second person.
Alert issued in India too
All airports have been instructed to screen passengers arriving from Hong Kong and Botswana. The central government has instructed the states to take special vigilance. States have been asked to thoroughly screen travelers arriving from South Africa, Hong Kong, and Botswana.
In a letter to the states and UTs, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said – samples found positive should be sent to the Genome Sequencing Laboratory immediately. The country’s National Center for Disease Control has also warned about this variant.