Scientists see new evidence S.African variant binds more readily

  • Scientists see new evidence S.African variant binds more readily

Scientists see new evidence S.African variant binds more readily

Researchers that took part in the new Covid-19 variant study. It is, however, putting more strain on hospitals that may lead to more deaths.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim during the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, 29-31 Jan 2015. Of the 873,475 frozen food samples randomly inspected by Chinese customs, only 13 returned positive results for the coronavirus, according to the agency.To try to prevent contaminated food causing infections, China has stepped up tracing capabilities.A data-sharing platform is being tested to share information with restaurants on the processing, retail and sale status of over 90 per cent of the country's imported frozen food, according to China's market regulator.

"This week has seen some promising signs of decline in transmission - yesterday we noted a 23% decrease in new cases nationally compared to 7-days prior".

However, Karim said there is no evidence to suggest it is "more severe".

Karim says there is evidence that the new variant of the coronavirus in South Africa, known as 501Y.V2, is 50% more infectious as it binds more readily to human cells.

Speaking about the possibility of anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19, Prof Karim says the problem lies in the fact "there are no really good studies".

" A number of them are the United Kingdom variants and then we have at least one South African variant and there are some variants which look like that of the Brazilian but are not quite clear yet so I wouldn't put them as part of the Brazil variant but they have some of the mutations".

But he said that the variant didn't seem to be causing a significant increase in mortality rates.

The new variant was identified in late December previous year since then it has the been the main cause of surge across various countries in Europe, Asia and South America.

"This could be attributable to many factors, including enhanced physical distancing facilitated by lockdown regulations".

Many health workers have reported a shortage of critical-care beds, oxygen and staff as the virus ripped through the country.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has registered over 1.3 million infections and just over 37 000 COVID-19-related fatalities. Alcohol sales should resume four days a week and be allowed in restaurants, while the curfew should be relaxed to 11 p.m., he said.

News that Western Cape may be passed the peak of new infections means the government should relax restrictions, Alan Winde, premier of the province where Cape Town is located, told reporters on Tuesday.