Image

12:45 PM / Saturday July 2, 2022

21 Dec 2020

New strain of COVID-19 identified as “501.V2” is driving South Africa’s resurgence

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
December 21, 2020 Category: Coronavirus Posted by:

By MOGOMOTSI MAGOME and ANDREW MELDRUM

JOHANNESBURG (AP)–South Africa has announced that a new variant of the COVID-19 virus is driving the country’s current resurgence of the disease, which is seeing higher numbers of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The new variant, known as 501.V2, is dominant among new confirmed infections in South Africa, according to health officials and scientists leading the country’s virus strategy.

“It is still very early but at this stage, the preliminary data suggests the virus that is now dominating in the second wave is spreading faster than the first wave,” Professor Salim Abdool Karim, chairman of the government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee, said in a briefing to journalists.

South Africa may see “many more cases” in the new wave than it experienced in the first surge of the disease, said Abdool Karim.

Image

South Africa currently has more than 8,500 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing the previous high of 8,300 recorded in August.

“We are seeing a much earlier and much sharper rise in the second wave or resurgence than we anticipated,” Prof. Ian Sanne, a member of the advisory committee, told South Africa’s News24.

The new strain, different from the one in Britain, appears to be more infectious than the original virus. South African scientists are studying if the vaccines against COVID-19 will also offer protection against the new strain.

Some of the vaccines, including the one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, are undergoing clinical tests in South Africa.

The scientists studying the new variant emphasized that preventive measures like wearing masks and social distancing are vital.

In response to the resurgence of COVID-19, the South African government has introduced tougher lockdown restrictions which include limited days and hours for the trade of alcohol and the closure of beaches in areas identified as hotspots.

South Africa’s 7-day rolling average of daily new cases has more than doubled over the past two weeks, from 6.47 new cases per 100,000 people on Dec. 6 to 14.68 new cases per 100,000 people on Dec. 20. The number of deaths has also increased with the 7-day rolling average of daily deaths in South Africa rising from 0.18 deaths per 100,000 people on Dec. 6 to 0.34 deaths per 100,000 people on Dec. 20.

The country has recorded a total of 912, 477 cases, including 24,539 deaths.

Abdool Karim and other experts have expressed concerns that more people may be infected over the holiday season, as many people travel and visit family members.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Stateside

Just the beginning

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Over 150,000 people from around the country participated in the Mass Poor Peoples...

Commentary

Commentary
The fine print

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email While we do need to pay attention to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s...

Education

Community College of Philadelphia to pay off $1.4 million in outstanding student account balances

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Community College of Philadelphia announced that it will pay off more than $1.4...

Color Of Money

Americans still have financial goals, just not sure how they will reach them

June 24, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT If you have a vision for where you’d like to be financially...

Politics

Takeaways: Trump’s mind ‘made up’ on fraud ahead of Jan. 6

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the...

Go With The-Flo

Sherri Shepherd’s talk show, “Sherri,” to air in place of former “The Wendy Williams Show”

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Sherri Shepherd (Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock) By Flo Anthony After 13...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff