The Director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Research Innovation Platform, Professor Tulio De Oliviera, has confirmed that a new variant of the coronavirus has been identified in South Africa and it is spreading rapidly.
This comes as the second wave of the coronavirus sweeps over the country.
Professor De Oliviera was part of the panel hosted by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addressing the media in an online session.
Prof De Oliviera says the new lineage of the coronavirus is dominating new infections in South Africa.
He says the new variant started spreading in the Eastern Cape and has spread along the Garden Route before spreading to KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town and other parts of the country.
De Oliviera says the new coronavirus has a lot of mutations or changes in its genetic material.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee’s Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who was also part of the panel, says the second wave in the Western Cape is much more than the first wave.
The evidence suggests that that the current #secondwave we are experiencing is being driven by this new variant. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we all follow precautionary methods and play our part in helping to prevent coronavirus transmission. #SARSCOV2MediaBriefing pic.twitter.com/ViVKoYCB0D
— NICD (@nicd_sa) December 18, 2020
New research has shown that COVID-19 can affect the brain cells of those infected and its affects remain even after they have recovered, says Professor Tulio de Oliveira, Virologist at the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform. https://t.co/hpnW5bVdhb pic.twitter.com/3VKvXlivfn
— SABC News (@SABCNews) July 11, 2020