for subscribers

Coronavirus: How the 501Y.V2 variant was able to quickly dominate infections

Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Understanding the behaviour of the latest variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is causing a surge in Covid-19 cases in South Africa during its second wave, all started with opening an email on Boxing Day last year, said Professor Salim Abdool Karim, the country's leading scientific advisor as chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19, during a panel discussion on Monday.

Checking his email was "a mistake", as Abdool Karim was about to settle down to enjoy a game of cricket. What he saw was a paper by researcher Filip Fratev, published in the pre-print server bioRxiv, and its findings kicked off his deepest concerns of this agonising variant.  

The discussion was also attended by eight other scientists leading the research in South Africa on this variant, which has been estimated to be 50% more easily and efficiently transmitted than previous variants.

There’s more to this story
Subscribe to News24 and get access to our exclusive journalism and features today.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 3954 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2701 votes
No, I don't think they need it
36% - 3815 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.40
(-0.85)
ZAR/GBP
21.28
(-0.25)
ZAR/EUR
18.35
(-0.35)
ZAR/AUD
11.81
(-0.15)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.54)
Gold
1696.97
(+0.19)
Silver
24.93
(-1.37)
Platinum
1120.00
(+0.31)
Brent Crude
67.21
(+4.17)
Palladium
2344.50
(+0.82)
All Share
68271.19
(+0.78)
Top 40
62788.64
(+0.87)
Financial 15
12759.80
(+0.67)
Industrial 25
87613.31
(-0.32)
Resource 10
70801.78
(+2.36)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo