Another new COVID-19 variant seems to have developed, in Nigeria

It’s still very early,” he said. For the first time since confirming sub-Saharan Africa’s first virus case in February, Nigeria is in the spotlight during this pandemic as infections surge. The African continent now has more than 2.5 million confirmed cases, or 3.3% of global cases. South Africa’s health minister late Wednesday announced an “alarming rate of spread” in that country, with more than 14,000 new cases confirmed in the past day, including more than 400 deaths. may imply a reduced power to detect such changes,” the paper says. The variant was found in two patient samples collected on Aug. 3 and on Oct. The country has more than 950,000 infections and COVID-19 is “unrelenting,” Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said. The news comes as infections surge again in parts of the African continent. “Give us some time. The new variant in South Africa is now the predominant one there, Nkengasong said, as confirmed infections in the country approach 1 million. and South Africa,” the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, told reporters. Infections across the continent have risen 10.9% over the past four weeks, Nkengasong said, including a 52% increase in Nigeria and 40% increase in South Africa.Nigeria now has more than 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. “It’s a separate lineage from the U.K. He said the Nigeria CDC and the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in that country – Africa’s most populous – will be analyzing more samples. 9 in Nigeria’s Osun state, according to a working research paper seen by The Associated Press. While the variant transmits quickly and viral loads are higher, it is not yet clear whether it leads to a more severe disease, he said. … “This has led to an unusual delay with testing, but we’re working around the clock,” with many colleagues cutting short their holidays and returning to work. First published on December 24, 2020 / 6:37 AM Yet another new COVID-19 variant seems to have developed, this one in Nigeria

December 24, 2020 / 6:37 AM
/ AP

New variant of COVID-19 in South Africa

New variant of COVID-19 in South Africa


Nairobi, Kenya — Another new variant of the coronavirus appears to have emerged in Nigeria, Africa’s top public health official said Thursday, but he added that further investigation was needed. 

The discovery could add to new alarm in the pandemic after similar variants were announced in Britain and South Africa, leading to the swift return of international travel restrictions and other measures just as the world enters a major holiday season. Unlike the variant seen in the U.K., “we haven’t observed such rapid rise of the lineage in Nigeria and do not have evidence to indicate that the P681H variant is contributing to increased transmission of the virus in Nigeria. The alert about the apparent new variant was based on two or three genetic sequences, he said, but that and South Africa’s alert late last week were enough to prompt an emergency meeting of the Africa CDC this week. “We believe this mutation will not have an effect” on the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to the continent, he said of the South Africa variant. It was the largest single-day increase in cases. “Over recent weeks, we’ve had a huge increase in number of samples to (Nigeria CDC) reference lab,” the CDC director-general Chikwe Ihekweazu tweeted on Thursday. However, the relative difference in scale of genomic surveillance in Nigeria vs the U.K.