The most mutated variant of the coronavirus yet has been found among travellers from Tanzania. This has prompted scientists to call for greater monitoring in a country that has been criticised for being a pandemic denialist.
A report submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO) and regional bodies show the COVID-19 strain has 10 more mutations than found on any other version.
This is according to Krisp, a scientific institute that carries out genetic testing for 10 African nations.
Krisp, which discovered a new strain in South Africa last year, that propelled a resurgence of infections in the country, claims it has found the new variant in travellers arriving in Angola from Tanzania.
Most mutated coronavirus variants found in Tanzania:
Variants of the coronavirus have caused concern globally as, for instance, the one first identified in South Africa has proven to be more infectious and able to more easily evade some vaccines.
Still, no work has been done yet on the version found in three Tanzanian travellers, to ascertain whether it is more infectious or severe than other strains.
At the same time, authorities in Tanzania, which has not released COVID-19 statistics since last year, are yet to comment on this new development.
Concerns that the new variants in the UK, SA and Brazil could be more contagious:
– by Isaac Lukhando