Fast-spreading new COVID-19 variant found in SA and abroad

September 02, 2021

Prof Tulio de Oliveira, Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (Krisp) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), has sounded the alarm on what’s being called C.1.2 which has been detected in SA and elsewhere.

So what do we know so far?

A preprint study, awaiting peer review, suggests the new variant could spread more quickly than its predecessors and be more adept at evading vaccines.

It also looks the most different from the original strain than any variant so far. In other words, there is no 0ther variant of concern or variant of interest that has, as the scientists put it, “mutated as substantially”.

It was first detected in SA, but has also been found in places as far apart as New Zealand, the UK, Mauritius, Portugal, Switzerland and China.

According to the researchers, it has been detected “across the majority of the provinces in SA”.

Like other variants of interest, it could be “associated with increased transmissibility, neutralisation resistance and disease severity”.

It belongs to a lineage that was first identified in May this year and evolved from one that “dominated the first wave of infections in SA and was last detected in January.” - BusinessDay


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Last modified on Monday, 06 September 2021 13:35

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