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Britain says new COVID-19 variant is the most significant yet found

CoronavirusNov 26, 2021 13:06
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Britain October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville 2/2

By Alistair Smout and Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain said on Friday that a newly identified coronavirus variant spreading in South Africa was of huge concern, and considered by scientists to be the most significant one yet found as it could make vaccines less effective.

The UK Health Security Agency said that the variant - called B.1.1.529 - had a spike protein that was dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based on.

The variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong, and Britain has banned flights from South Africa and five neighbouring countries.

"There are no detected cases of this variant in the UK at this time. But this new variant is of huge international concern," health minister Sajid Javid told lawmakers.

"We are concerned that this new variant may pose a substantial risk to public health. The variant has an unusually large number of mutations."

Javid paid tribute to South African scientists for their openness and transparency. South Africa has said that Britain's decision to halt flights from the country seemed rushed.

Javid emphasised that there was much that was not yet known about the variant, but early indications suggested it might render vaccines less effective and be more transmissible, and he was concerned about a surge in cases in South Africa.

"One of the lessons of this pandemic has been the we must move quickly and at the earliest possible moment," Javid said.

Earlier, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended a temporary ban on flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini.

"As scientists have described, (this is) the most significant variant they've encountered to date in their research," Shapps told Sky News.

Flights will be halted until Sunday, when entry will be banned to all except British and Irish nationals and those with residency rights, who will have to quarantine in hotels.

Virgin Atlantic, which currently operates a London Heathrow to Johannesburg service, said flights were cancelled until Sunday and its schedule next week was under review.

Britain says new COVID-19 variant is the most significant yet found
 

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Comments (14)
Jon Borda
Jon Borda Nov 26, 2021 14:28
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ITS ALL A LIE , A MASS CULLING ON THE WAY . MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE SPONGES...... ABSORBING ALL THE LIES AND BELIEVING WHAT THE MEDIA FEEDS THEM
Tudor Cirstea
Tudor Cirstea Nov 26, 2021 13:53
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Dear "experts", please explain why countries highly vaccinated with a vaccine that they claim is highly effective, are afraid! Or is it actually not at all effective? which one is it? If its not effective, then why take it in the first place? Epic fail of western world.
ThisIs Sparta
ThisIs Sparta Nov 26, 2021 13:53
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You have answered your own question there...
Edoardo Nobile
Edoardo Nobile Nov 26, 2021 12:09
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Vix
Siddhant Jain
Siddhant Jain Nov 26, 2021 11:51
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Viruses are meant to mutate,however rather there must be a focus on treating the infection with medicinal combination therapy & supportive treatment,Vaccines WILL NOT WORK & Lockdowns is not the answer but people need to avoid gatherings & when must need to wear mask & keep hands clean
ian Chamberlain
ian Chamberlain Nov 26, 2021 11:51
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do you actually look at data or just make up stories. data shows the vaccines cut death by 75%. of course a new variety is of concern since the vaccine was designed for previous varies, hence many not work (or be as effective) on a new variant. That's not to say it can't be tuned to work, just that it will take some month to do so.The alternative is no one has a life and has to live in isolation.Time this mass hysteria was reported in context of cancer and heart disease affects was
David Anders
David Anders Nov 26, 2021 11:46
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Reduced binding of a polyclonal Ab (generated from current vaccines) to sites on the SP say, of the SA mutant, may potentially reduce the titre of *******Tcells binding to the Ab-Sp complex, therefore weakening the effectiveness of current vaccines. Whether this has a knock on effect on illness severity, is unknown at this stage.The greater the spread of Ab binding to conserved sequences on the SP, the better. Likely we need to target a broader range of amino acids expressed on the SP. Let's see what the binding studies of existing Ab to the new variant SP shows. No wobbles before lol.
ThisIs Sparta
ThisIs Sparta Nov 26, 2021 11:46
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scientist by any chance?
ThisIs Sparta
ThisIs Sparta Nov 26, 2021 10:41
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Like a magician pulling out a rabbit of a hat! Just like that a huge big lie has been invented. Next we will be facing lockdown yet again and home arrest. Whatever will they come out with next
Gaurav Jairath
Gaurav Jairath Nov 26, 2021 10:41
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Glad you dont run our national health
Francis Speirs
Francis Speirs Nov 26, 2021 10:41
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It's headcases like you that are prolonging the Pandemic.
ThisIs Sparta
ThisIs Sparta Nov 26, 2021 10:41
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Gaurav & Francis, I am well connnected to plenty of Drs and they do not seem concerned. You both lack common sense and knowledge of the NHS, so go about your business.
rusty largo
rustylargo Nov 26, 2021 10:40
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developing a hitched on vaccine to remedy this is now a priority. one 40th of worlds population will be dead this time next year...and someone YOU know is next....
ThisIs Sparta
ThisIs Sparta Nov 26, 2021 10:40
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Hello Rusty, glad your short paid off at last. Now that is a bit extreme thing to say. Why do you think that?
Wally Grainger
Wally Grainger Nov 26, 2021 9:50
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"Oh, it's all MaDe Up and nOt A rEAl thing!"
Alex Malmström
Alex Malmström Nov 26, 2021 9:11
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Sure, sure! Next month there will be another super duper new variant and another. Who believes this stuff anymore?
ian Chamberlain
ian Chamberlain Nov 26, 2021 9:11
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the variants are real, the hysterics on the other hand are irresponsible reporting. we will have variants of this virus for the rest of our lives, fortunately we have science to protect us. however, science takes a few months to catch up and its not perfect so people will die, just like they do of cancer, heart disease and many other causes which we all seem to take for granted and accept.....time we started to accept covid as a fact of life and find a way to live with it. the alternative is to exist, rather than live!
Drake Richards
Drake Richards Nov 26, 2021 9:08
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oh look what they found down the back of the sofa....a new 'significant variant'...
graham ives
graham ives Nov 26, 2021 8:58
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absolute perfect timing (strange?)
mushaf munas
mushaf munas Nov 26, 2021 7:35
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Learn to live with it… there are other severe desease than covid. Please don’t overhype.
Anand Sawant
Anand Sawant Nov 26, 2021 7:35
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It looks like reporting rise in cold cases everyday
Larry Kasper
Larry Kasper Nov 26, 2021 7:34
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Governments found another excuse for lock downs and control of citizens
James McCabe
James McCabe Nov 26, 2021 7:34
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Oh dear.
Herkus Matulevicius
Herkus Matulevicius Nov 26, 2021 7:26
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The world should ban all news on covid this ir ridiculous at this point. Noone is going to tolerate more lockdowns
Vincenzo Dellboy
Vincenzo Dellboy Nov 26, 2021 7:26
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Absolute rubbish
James McCabe
James McCabe Nov 26, 2021 7:26
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Complete and utter...
Alex Malmström
Alex Malmström Nov 26, 2021 7:26
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Vincenzo Dellboy You have seen the recent protests lately against the lockdowns across Europe, right? It's going to get a whole lot worse kid!
ThisIs Sparta
ThisIs Sparta Nov 26, 2021 7:26
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It's going to be with us for a linf time yet, as flu is part of the NHS's problem at winter time. Even without Covid, they struggle at winter time
 
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