A New Super Mutant Kovid Version That Has Raised Others’ Fears lockdown What may have emerged as an HIV patient in Africa in the UK is the most developed version yet and could make jabs very vulnerable.
Scientists believe that its widespread mutation means it may have originated in a severely immunocompromised patient, possibly an unidentified individual who has AIDS.
It has over 30 mutations, giving it all the transmissibility of the current-dominant Delta strain and the same ability to survive vaccines as the older South African variant beta.
Experts fear the new version – called B.188.8.131.529 – will make vaccines at least 40 percent less effective, because it is so well-equipped to dodge the protection they provide. .
Britons have been put on alert that there could be a Christmas lockdown, with one of the number 10 vaccine advisers warning that ‘we all need to be prepared’ as restrictions are reimposed.
Here’s everything we know about the version so far:
What’s so worried about variants?
Little is known about the new strain, but the sheer number of mutations has worried scientists.
The variant has more than 30 mutations – twice as many as the currently dominant delta strain.
A lot of the variation has focused on the spike protein. It is this protein that prompts the body to respond to the current crop of COVID vaccines, so it can recognize and fight the virus if it comes into contact with it.
Experts fear the changes could make vaccines 40 percent less effective in a best-case scenario, because the new version of the virus is better able to dodge the protection they provide.
It also contains mutations that allow it to spread more easily.
One scientist said it was the worst version he had ever seen.
Experts have warned that they will not know how highly contagious the virus is for at least two weeks and its impact on Covid hospitalizations and deaths for up to six weeks.
Will it affect Christmas in the UK?
Experts said it would take weeks to know how worrying the new version is, so it’s not yet clear whether additional steps might need to be taken.
The only action taken by the government so far is to add six countries to the red list.
But Professor Adam Finn, member of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI), said the new restrictions could not be ruled out.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “On the one hand, I don’t want to create unnecessary anxiety among people, but on the other, I think we all need to be prepared for the possibility of changes in restrictions.”
Where is the variant detected so far?
The variant has been spotted in four countries so far: South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel.
The highest number of cases have been seen in Gauteng, a province in northeast South Africa.
The first case was uploaded by Hong Kong to an international variant database and seen by someone who was traveling to the country from South Africa.
No cases have been observed in the UK. But scientists do not sequence every positive Covid sample in the UK and not everyone who catches the virus will get tested.
This means there may be people infected with the variant in the UK.
What about the UK version?
The health secretary announced last night that six countries would be added to the red list from the afternoon of Friday 26 November.
The red-listed countries are: South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This means that all direct flights from these countries to the UK are banned.
Anyone arriving in England from these countries between this afternoon and 4 a.m. on Sunday – or who has been in the countries in the past 10 days – must fill out a traveler locator form, be home quarantined and take a PCR test .
Anyone arriving from these countries after 4 a.m. on a Sunday will be required to stay in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days and undergo a COVID test on or before the second day of their stay, as well as a COVID-19 test on or after eight days. And have to test.
What are the Variants?
The strain is known scientifically as B.184.108.40.2069, but has not yet been given a name based on the letters of the Greek alphabet.
So far the officially named variants include Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma.
Experts from the World Health Organization are holding emergency meetings on the variant today, during which its name is expected to be revealed. This can be called the ‘Nu’ variant.