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WRAP | People infected with 501Y.V2 Covid-19 variant have protection from reinfection - Scientists

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03 March 12:13

A visual depiction of how the Covid-19 variant has spread across the globe, being detected in 48 different countries. Professor Tulio de Oliveria uses the opportunity to say "so it's unfair to say it's the South African variant when almost 50 countries have no detected the variant."
A visual depiction of how the Covid-19 variant has spread across the globe, being detected in 48 different countries. Professor Tulio de Oliveria uses the opportunity to say "so it's unfair to say it's the South African variant when almost 50 countries have no detected the variant."

03 March 11:55

Nzimande says another discovery has been launched: research done by KwaZulu-Natal Research Informatics and Sequencing Programme (KRISP) and several other partners has found that those infected in second wave [501Y.V2 variant] of the virus have protection from other circulating variants.

03 March 11:54

Blade Nzimande is now now speaking, says South Africa's scientific innovation is highly regarded around the globe. He says R69.4m in funding for research has been spent, which totals 21 projects, he says.

03 March 11:25

KRISP is the first in the world to uncover the findings, showing that the 501Y.V2 variant has a number of mutations on its spike protein, which increases the efficacy of the virus to infect humans and potentially posing problems of vaccine escape.

This media briefing will amongst others provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of increased transmissibility (which is increasingly supported by data) and if there is any evidence of increased pathogenicity (a different disease profile/progression), or whether reinfection can occur.

03 March 11:25

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, and the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, will jointly host a virtual media briefing on the latest scientific results on Covid-19 variant.

Genomic research has proved to be a potent tool in the fight against Covid- 19. Investigations by South African genomic scientists into the evolutionary characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 resulted in the detection of the new variant, dubbed 501Y.V2.

In this regard, government has been working with local scientists from the KwaZulu-Natal Research Informatics and Sequencing Programme (KRISP).

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