New Coronavirus Variant in South Africa a ‘Serious Concern’

Health officials in South Africa warned on Thursday that a newly identified coronavirus variant is a “serious concern,” noting that it is “clearly very different” from previous variants, according to Bloomberg News.

“Here is a mutation variant of serious concern,” South Africa Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on Thursday during a press briefing, according to Bloomberg. “We were hopeful that we might have a longer break in between waves — possibly that it would hold off to late December or even next year January.” 

Professor Tulio de Oliveira, who heads the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, added that the new variant has an “unusual constellation of mutations,” and is “clearly very different,” from the ones previously identified.

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