New Variant of COVID: Full List of Countries Where B.1.1.529 Has Been Detected

New COVID Variant: Expected to be given the name 'Nu', the strain carries 32 mutations, many of which suggest it is highly transmissible and vaccine-resistant and has more alterations to its spike protein than any other variant.

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New Variant of Coronavirus: Several countries included India have sounded an alert over the new variant of coronavirus, detected in South Africa. Identified as B.1.1.529, the new variant is said to be 'worst-ever' super-mutant Covid variant that will make vaccines at least 40 per cent less effective.

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Expected to be given the name 'Nu', the strain carries 32 mutations, many of which suggest it is highly transmissible and vaccine-resistant and has more alterations to its spike protein than any other variant. In December 2020 as well, South Africa was the first nation to report the appearance of the Beta variant, which later spread to nearly 70 countries.

Full List of Countries Where B.1.1.529 Has Been Detected

South Africa: Twenty-two positive cases of the variant have been recorded in the country following genomic sequencing collaborations between the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, and private laboratories. In addition, other NGS-SA laboratories are confirming more cases as sequencing results come out. Confirmed cases is increasing quickly, particularly in Gauteng, North West and Limpopo.

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"It is not surprising that a new variant has been detected in South Africa. Although the data are limited, our experts are working overtime with all the established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be. Developments are occurring at a rapid pace and the public has our assurance that we will keep them up to date", comments Professor Adrian Puren, NICD Acting Executive Director.

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Botswana: The new strain of COVID has been detected in Botswana. Dr Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College, said the combination of mutations found in the Botswana variant is 'horrific'. He added that B.1.1.529, the scientific name of Botswana variant, could be 'worse than nearly anything else about."

Israel: In Israel, the health ministry said it has detected the country's first case of the new coronavirus variant in a traveler who returned from Malawi. The traveler and two other suspected cases have been placed in isolation. It said all three are vaccinated but that it is currently looking into their exact vaccination status.

Hong Kong: The new variant has also been found in Hong Kong. If reports are to be believed, two cases of the new Covid-19 strain have been found in travelers arriving in Hong Kong. The World Health Organization's (WHO) technical working group is expected to meet on Friday to assess the new variant and may decide whether to give it a name from the Greek alphabet.

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Published Date:November 26, 2021 4:30 PM IST

Updated Date:November 26, 2021 4:49 PM IST

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