Daily Management Review

UK Finds A More Infectious Coronavirus Strain Linked To South Africa


UK Finds A More Infectious Coronavirus Strain Linked To South Africa
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday that scientists in the country has found yet another strain of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 that has links to South Africa.
A recent surge in the infection in the South Africa could be linked to the new genetic mutation of the virus that has been discovered, the health department of the country had said last week.
"Thanks to the impressive genomic capability of the South Africans, we've detected two cases of another new variant of coronavirus here in the UK," Hancock told a media briefing. "Both are contacts of cases who have travelled from South Africa over the past few weeks."
Last week, a new strain of the virus was discovered in the UK which is believed to be 70 per cent more transmissible and the country is now trying to curb the spread of infections by imposing fresh restrictions and lockdown. More studies into the new strain are being carried out in Britain. 
"This new variant is highly concerning, because it is yet more transmissible, and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant has been discovered in the UK," Hancock said and added that all those people who had been to South Africa in the last fortnight or had been close contact with someone who had been there as well as the close contacts of those with the new variant are being identified.
He also said that the government is imposing immediate restrictions in travel from South Africa.
In recent days, travelling to and from the UK and South Africa has been suspended by countries around the world after the new and faster spreading variant of the virus was found.
"So the new variant in the UK, which we've identified, is very different to the variant in South Africa, it's got different mutations," said Susan Hopkins from Public Health England.
"Both of them look like they're more transmissible. We have more evidence on the transmission for the UK variant because we've been studying that with great detail with academic partners. We're still learning about the South African variant."
While expressing confidence of being able to control the spread of the South Africa-linked variant of the coronavirus, she said that the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines already developed should also be effective on the new variant.
"We have no evidence at the moment that the vaccine will not work, so actually what that means in fact is that there's strong evidence that it will work, because the vaccine produces a strong immune response and it's broad and acts against lots of variation in the virus," she said.