A desperate hunt for “hundreds” of passengers has been underway from South Africa, amid fears about the new Covid variant.

A HUNT has been launched to locate hundreds of passengers who recently arrived in South Africa from South Africa. This is after a new Covid strain was found. 

This alarm comes as UK officials sound the alarm tonight about the B.1.1.529 variant. It has the potential to evade immunity that has been built up through vaccinations or prior infection.

Passengers from South Africa are being urged to take a Covid tesst


South African Passengers are being encouraged take a Covid Tesst

Hundreds of South African migrants have arrived in the UK in recent days. Officials in the UK are holding urgent talks to determine how best to address the threat. 

Sajid Javid, Health Minister has. It has been confirmed that flights from South Africa, Lesotho and Botswana, Botswana and Eswatini, as well as Zimbabwe, will be temporarily suspended starting tomorrow. UK travelers must also quarantine.

He stated that he would quarantine anyone who arrives from these countries starting at 4am on Sunday in hotels.

“If someone arrives earlier than that, they should self-isolate and take a DNA test on day two or eight.

“If anyone has arrived from any of those countries over the last 10 days, we would ask them to take PCR tests.”

He also added: “The early indication we have of this variant is it may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and the vaccines that we currently have may be less effective against it.”

There have been no cases in the UK of people catching the new variant.

Javid also added: “Our scientists are deeply concerned about this variant. I’m concerned, of course, that’s one of the reasons we have taken this action today.”

Asked what the situation would mean for the UK over the coming weeks, with Christmas approaching, Mr Javid said: “We’ve got plans in place, as people know, for the spread of this infection here in the UK and we have contingency plans — the so-called Plan B.

“But today’s announcement, this is about a new variant from South Africa — it’s been detected in South Africa and Botswana — and this is about being cautious and taking action and trying to protect, as best we can, our borders.”

If it is both better at escaping vaccines and faster spreading it could cause problems, but experts have urged caution as it's monitored


Experts warn that it may be more effective at spreading vaccines than it is at escaping them.

Experts warn that it is the most advanced, with 32 mutations.

However, the variant has yet to reach the UK. Case numbers are still very small.

South Africa has seen an increase in Covid cases over the past few days. The infection of the variant, dubbed Botswana, has tripled since its first discovery.

It is believed that the variant was first discovered in the neighboring country two weeks earlier.

Although less than 100 cases have been identified so far, experts are still investigating the complex mutations.

Professor Tulio, who is the director of Covid surveillance for a South African provincial, said it could be found in virtually every region of the country.

The variant may be more effective at infecting people who have been vaccinated than Delta, the global dominant strain. It has five times as many mutations on one part of the genome that antibodies are able to bind to.

The expert said it had been a “very unusual constellation of mutations”It was also a “reason for concern”.

“A Major Threat”

South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla described it as “a major threat”.

Francois Balloux Professor of Computational Systems Biology and UCL Genetics Institute Director, UCL Genetics Institute said that he expected it to be difficult to recognize by neutralizing antibodies relative to Alpha and Delta.  

“It’s difficult to predict how transmissible it might be at this stage.

“For the time being, it should be closely monitored and analysed, but there is no reason to get overly concerned, unless it starts going up in frequency in the near future.”

Experts have suggested that the multiple mutations could actually work against the virus, making it unstable.

It seems to be an offshoot a older variant called B.1.1 and has been found in South Africa Botswana and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s infection was caused by an infected person who had traveled from South Africa. This raised fears it could spread to other countries.

[A]A very rare combination of mutations.

Professor Tulio de Oliveir

Experts warn that it may be more effective at spreading vaccines than it is at escaping them.

Dr Tom Peacock of Imperial College was a virologist who tweeted about the discovery. He said it was the first instance he had seen two specific mutations in one variant.

According to the expert, the mutation profile of coronavirus was described as follows: “really awful”.

He stated, “Export to Asia may indicate that this might be more prevalent than sequences alone would suggest.”

“Also, the very long branches and high number of spike mutations indicate this could be of concern (predicted escape of most monoclonal antibodies).

“Worth emphasising this is at super low numbers right now in a region of Africa that is fairly well sampled, however it very very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile (would take a guess that this would be worse antigenically than nearly anything else about).”


Professor Lawrence Young is a Warwick Medical School Virolologist. MailOnlineIt “looks like”The variant may be more effective at avoiding immunity to vaccines.

He added, “It’s always hard to say just looking at.” [mutations]This is dependent on how the immune response to the change perceives it.

“But it looks like it is just because of a severe load of [mutations] — some of which we know about quite a bit in terms of harming transmission — it looks like it might be slightly more worrying than the South African variant.”

The new variant contains mutations K417N & E484A, which are related to previous strains that were capable of avoiding vaccines.

It also contains the N440K found on Delta and S477N on New York variants, which are both linked to antibody escape. 

It also has N501Y mutation, which makes viruses more transmissible.

It is not uncommon to find new variants, and they are rarely spread over a group of cases.

They can quickly die if they’re in a country that has a dominant version.

Dr Meera Chand is the Covid-19 Incident director at the UKHSA. She said: In partnership with scientists around the world, the UK Health Security Agency continuously monitors the status of SARS CoV-2 variants as new ones emerge.

“Viruses are known to evolve frequently and at random. It is not uncommon for cases with new mutations to be discovered.”

“Any variants showing evidence of spread are rapidly assessed.”

A spokesperson from UKSHA said that they are investigating and monitoring this variant.

It is believed that super dominant Delta, which scientists believe has already experienced self-extinction in one region of the globe, may be mutating into self-extinction.

Japan has a staggering 140 cases per day despite only being infected by the Delta strain three months ago.

Japanese genetic experts have suggested that the sudden drop in coronavirus has been caused by Delta mutating. 

Delta was already far more transmissible than the original “Wuhan”The virus is now in China.

And other variations of Delta have been shown to cause fewer symptoms, carry immune-escaping mutations, or be even more fast-spreading.

A desperate hunt for "hundreds" of passengers has been underway from South Africa, amid fears about the new Covid variant.



UK Covid deaths fall by a third every fortnight. 165 people perish, but the number of cases increases by 30% after 42.484 positive test results.

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