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Scientists are looking for a “code red” of travel around Covid variants found in southern Africa.coronavirus

Leading scientists are calling for an immediate “Code Red” international travel ban in response to reports such as: New Covid-19 variant We are driving a surge in incidents in southern Africa.

This variant, identified only on Tuesday, initially raised concerns because it has a “very large number” of mutations that can evade immunity. The latest data presented by South African scientists on Thursday revealed that the variants also appeared to be more contagious and already exist in states across the country.

Ewan Birney, Deputy Director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and a member of Spi-M advising the UK Government, called for urgent “code red” or “red list type” travel restrictions in the South. I did. Africa While the infectivity of the new variant is being investigated, it says the pandemic poses a risk of regaining momentum.

He urged countries not to repeat the mistake of not acting swiftly. “What we have learned from these other situations may or may not be problematic. [investigating] You must be reasonably paranoid, “he said.

The new strain B.1.1.529 was identified after a surge in cases in the urban area of ​​Gauteng, including Pretoria and Johannesburg. Initially, a series of university-centered incidents were thought to be due to increased socializing.

However, this week, this variant was identified as a potential and ominous cause of the increase.The first detected case of the subspecies was collected in Botswana on 11 November, and the case was Hong Kong – A 36-year-old man who tested positive during quarantine after traveling to South Africa.

In the last 48 hours, South African scientists have confirmed PCR test data in the Gauteng region, and new variants appear to be behind the increase in cases, accounting for about 90% of cases within a few weeks. I found that it became like that.

At the national level, South Africa’s daily infections reached 1,200 on Wednesday, up from 106 at the beginning of the month.

At a press conference called in a hurry on Thursday, virologist Trio de Oliveira said:

Professor Ann von Gottberg, a clinical microbiologist and head of respiratory disease at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in South Africa, said complete sequencing of the samples confirmed about 100 cases. Increased from only 10 reported yesterday, And signs of community infection.

“”[The distribution] Two weeks ago it was a bit narrow, but it was primarily an outbreak-related area, and now cases and case-positive rates are moving to other districts and districts, “she said. “It may have been localized at first, but it’s definitely spreading to other districts.”

Professor Richard Ressels, an infectious disease expert at KwaZulu-Natal University in Durban, said the next few days and weeks will be key to determining the severity of the mutation. “At the beginning of the resurrection, everything can be mistaken for a mild illness, which may be due to the fact that it has spread to the younger age group at first. Therefore, as the spread becomes more common. , We need to see if we see more severe cases. Illness, “he said.

“What raises us some concerns [is] Not only is this variant more transmissible, it can spread more efficiently, but it can also circumvent part of the immune system and the protection of the immune system, “he said. I added.

Bernie and other British scientists called for the immediate introduction of new controls and said it would be desirable to revoke measures if further investigation revealed less concern than the variant was. rice field.

Professor Christina Pagel of University College London said: As far as we know, it’s not here yet. Adding South Africa and its neighbors to the Red List seems wise as the UK has a position as an international travel hub, has few restrictions in the UK and there are signs of concern from South Africa. You have to act now or risk it’s too late. “

Britain no longer has a country Red list Quarantine for travelers arriving from abroad. Those who are not fully vaccinated are negative before flight and need to arrange for two PCR tests on arrival. Those who are fully vaccinated must take the Covid test within 2 days of landing.

world health The organization is “closely monitoring” the reported variants and will convene a technical meeting on Friday to determine if it needs to be designated as an “interest” or “concern” variant. I said there is.

A spokesperson for No. 10 said: This particular variant under investigation. “

When asked if a travel ban was needed before Christmas as a result of the variety, a spokesman said: As mentioned earlier if we think we need to take action, we will continue to monitor this and other variants in the same way we did throughout the pandemic. “

Scientists are looking for a “code red” of travel around Covid variants found in southern Africa.coronavirus

Source link Scientists are looking for a “code red” of travel around Covid variants found in southern Africa.coronavirus

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