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South African Covid Strain 50% More Contagious, Say Experts

Published On Jan 19, 2021 12:00 AM By Yamini Sharma

As per the report of experts, the new variant of novel coronavirus first identified in South Africa is more contagious than the earlier versions. However, there is no evidence proving its deadliness. South African Epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Co-Chair of the Health Ministry's Scientific Committee said, “The new Covid variant is 50% more contagious”. The conclusion about the variant was reached after experts analysed data collected from the main infection areas across the country.

It is to be noted that South Africa has more than 1.3 million infected people. Moreover, the country has recorded more cases than any other on the continent. The second wave of the coronavirus has impacted the health system of South Africa in a massive form. 

Zweli Mkhize, Health Minister, South Africa informed that a 23% fall in infections was noticed. However, the number of hospital admissions increased by 18.3%. Another expert panel member, Dr. Waasila Jassat stated that even though hospital admissions have increased, the Covid-19 virus death rate in hospitals has not changed since the first wave.

The new South African coronavirus variant is known as 510Y.V2. Ever since the new variant has been discovered, new restrictions have been imposed to slow its growth. A few airlines have restricted travel to and from South Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently confirmed the arrival of more 20 million Covid-19 doses over the next six months.

According to Epidemiologist Abdool Karim, it is yet to be seen whether the current vaccines would show effectiveness against the new coronavirus variant.

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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