Britain announced on Friday that the coronavirus variant that was recently identified which was spreading across South Africa was of huge alarm and was believed by researchers as the most important one that has been discovered, because it may make vaccines less efficient.
It was reported that the UK Health Security Agency said that the variant, known as B.1.1.529 It has an atypical spike protein that is significantly different from that of COVID-19, the coronavirus original vaccines are based upon.
The same variant has been discovered in Botswana as well as Hong Kong, and Britain has banned flights to South Africa and five neighbouring countries.
“There are no detected cases of this variant in the UK at this time. But this new variant is of huge international concern,” Javid told lawmakers.
Hong Kong had uploaded the first sequence of the variant from a sample collected from a traveller from South Africa, he said.
“The UK was the first country to identify the potential threat of this new variant and to alert international partners. Further cases have been identified in South Africa and in Botswana, and it is highly likely that it has now spread to other countries.”
Javid acknowledged South African scientists for their openness and openness. South Africa has said that the decision by Britain to stop flights to the country appeared to be rushed.
Javid said there was plenty not known about the mutation, however initial indications suggested that it could make vaccines less effective and more likely to be transmitted, and he was concerned about an increase in cases occurring in South Africa.
“While we don’t know yet definitively whether the exponential growth in South Africa is directly associated with this new variant… one of the lessons of this pandemic has been the we must move quickly and at the earliest possible moment,” Javid said.
A ban on flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini was earlier defended by British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“As scientists have described, (this is) the most significant variant they’ve encountered to date in their research,” Shapps told Sky News.
(Adapted from NDTV.com)