A new Covid-19 variant could show immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility, South African scientists warn

A South African health minister announced the discovery of a new coronavirus variant that appears to be spreading fast in parts of the country. Minister of Health Joe Phaahla said that it initially looked like a cluster of outbreaks, but it was later discovered by the Network of Genomic Surveillance that it was a new variant.

So far it has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, and a traveler to Hong Kong from South Africa.

In a news briefing, scientists said there was an unusually high number of mutations, primarily in the spike protein. They advised the public to avoid super spreading events for safety.

As of now, the variant is still under monitoring, but experts already expressed concern over the possibility of immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility of the virus.

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