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South Africa Experiences New Variant Of COVID-19, Resulting In A Resurgence Of Cases
Just when we thought the virus was getting easier to control, South Africa announced that a new variant of the COVID-19 virus may drive a resurgence in the country.
According to Professor Salim Abdool Karim, chairman of South Africa’s Ministerial Advisory Committee, “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.” The new variant is being referred to as 501.V2 and according to health officials and scientists in South Africa, is showing up among the countries’ new infections.
Currently, South Africa has over 8,500 patients hospitalized with the virus. This new strain is different from the strain in Britain and is said to be more infectious. Scientists in South Africa are testing to see if vaccines like AstraZeneca would work to combat the new strain.
Professor Ian Sanne, a member of the advisory committee tells South Africa’s News24, “We are seeing a much earlier and much sharper rise in the second wave or resurgence than we anticipated.”
The South African government will be implementing stricter lockdown rules and closing beaches in hotspot areas.
So far, South Africa has recorded 912,477 COVID-19 cases and 24,539 deaths.
Residents are being encouraged to stay home, wear masks, and practice social distancing.