EXCLUSIVE: "A new COVID-19 variant has been discovered outside South Africa"

EXCLUSIVE: "A new COVID-19 variant has been discovered outside South Africa"

Bioinformatician and virologist Prof Tulio de Oliveira exclusively revealed to the team that another COVID-19 variant has been discovered by KRISP at UKZN.

Mask, hand sanitizer COVID-19
Face masks and hand-sanitizer/ iStock

A month or two ago, we found out that a new variant of coronavirus circulating in South Africa was now being seen in other countries, including the UK. This variant was named, 501.V2.

Epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist Professor Salim Abdool Karim stated that scientists have new evidence that the new COVID-19 variant, 501.V2, found in South Africa is stronger and spreads faster. Now, however, Prof Tulio de Oliveir joined Darren, Keri, and Sky on Wednesday morning to reveal that there is another variant and the discovery was made early this morning.

READ: Why is it important for people not to refuse the vaccine?

"What we found in KwaZulu-Natal in the random temple of 50 genomes that we do every week together with the NHLS is a variant. This new variant is called the B1.177. It is not the main variant that circulates in the UK, but another big variant of the UK that seems to have been introduced in KZN and this variant also has one important mutation," he says.

He further stated that this news will be shared with the public soon and urged South Africans not to panic.

READ: Are buffs as safe as masks? Can you get COVID-19 from insects? Prof de Oliveira answers

Professor Tulio de Oliveir also shed some light on the Ivermectin medicine that has been said to be an inhibitor of the COVID-19 causative virus (SARS-CoV-2). According to Prof Tulio, there is no scientific evidence to support this drug as a vaccine or cure of the virus, as he likened it to Hydrochloroquin.

More questions answered by Prof Tulio de Oliveir include:

  • Despite the new variant, why are numbers going down?
  • We have heard of the 2nd wave, what about a 3rd and 4th wave? 
  • Do we have data to know if we have reached the peak of the second wave yet? 

Listen to the podcast below:

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