Highlights

  • First identified in South Africa, the strain has spread to nearby countries
  • In Botswana, fully vaccinated people have been infected
  • The WHO has called an emergency over the new strain

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Covid-19: All you need to know about the new variant that may be more infectious

Indian govt has asked states to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all travellers from South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana where a new Covid-19 variant has been reported

The Centre on Thursday asked all states and union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana where a new Covid-19 variant has been reported.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to all states and UTs, wrote, that the variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and has serious public health implications for the country considering the recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel.

Also Watch: UK stops flights from 6 African countries over new Covid variant fears

Here is all you need to know about the new Covid variant:

  • First identified in South Africa this week, the strain has spread to nearby countries
  • In Botswana, fully vaccinated people have been infected with the new variant.
  • In South Africa over 100 cases have been linked to this variant, several more in Botswana
  • Two cases of the new Covid variant have been detected in Hong Kong
  • The B.1.1.529 variant has 50 mutations overall, including more than 30 on the spike protein alone.
  • Researchers are still trying to confirm whether this makes it more transmissible or more lethal than previous variants
  • There is speculation on the variant's origin, but it may have evolved from a single patient
  • India govt has called for rigorous screening of passengers from affected countries
  • UK has stopped flights and travel from six African countries over new variant fears
  • Australia has said it could tighten rules for incoming travellers as well
  • The World Health Organisation has called an emergency over the new strain

Also Read: Centre issues alert over the new Covid-19 variant found in South Africa

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