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Zimbabwe on High Alert for new Covid-19 variant

by Staff Reporter
26 Nov 2021 at 15:34hrs | Views
LEAD scientists in the country are looking out for any traces of the Covid-19 variant which has been detected in South Africa and Botswana.

The new Covid-19 variant which has become a major source of worry to scientists is believed to have more mutations compared to previous variants.

Fears are that the new strain called B.1.1.529 is not domiciled in the nasal region and directly affects the lungs, thereby shortening the window period.

Local scientists are already working to identify whether there are traces of this variant in the country.

"We have our lead scientist and scientists already working on geo-sequencing to identify whether there is any case. Our clinicians are also on the ground to identify any traces of this new variant. We are also strengthening our ports of entry so that we can be able to identify the cases as early as possible," said Dr Mahomva

The World Health Organisation says it will take a few weeks for researchers to understand the impact of the new Covid-19 variant as the global body meets to chart the way forward.

"It will take a few weeks for us to understand what impact this variant has. Researchers are working to understand more about the mutations and what they potentially mean for how transmissible or virulent this variant is and how they may impact our diagnostics through therapeutics and vaccines," said Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesman.

Less than 24 hours after it was first detected, the new Covid 19 variant has already triggered travel restrictions with Zimbabwe among six nations placed on the red zone list by the United Kingdom.

South Africa has hit back at the restrictions saying that while it respects the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, the British government's decision to temporarily ban South Africans from entering the UK seems to have been rushed as even the World Health Organisation is yet to advise on the next steps.

Source - zbc