Several COVID-19 variants found in 13 countries

3 years ago

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The UK has been in the spotlight and under the microscope since a new variant of COVID-19 has emerged there. The strain which is said to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible, has heightened the concern of countries worldwide and has led to several countries closing their borders to UK residents. The UK variant is but one of three new variants; the others have not received the same degree of attention. South Africa has reported a variant which has mutated further than the UK strain while in Nigeria another variant, the P681H has been found.  The one found in Nigeria is from a different linage but does not appear to spread as fast as the other variants.

Australia, Denmark, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and the UK are among the countries reporting cases of the new variants. Increased number of cases as well as the new variants have caused several governments to impose tighter restrictions and lockdown measures in an effort to decrease the rate of spread and number of COVID 19 cases.  A “provincewide shutdown” was announced by Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford. He said that it was “a difficult but necessary decision but nothing is more important than the health and safety of Ontarians.”  It will not be surprising if Ford’s actions are replicated by other governments across the globe given the scant regard for COVID 19 protocols and advise against travel exhibited by millions during the festive season.

To date, none of the new variants are deemed more fatal or more resistant to vaccines or treatments than the original strain. Even though the distribution of vaccines has begun, everyone is encouraged to continue to observe and maintain established COVID 19 protocols.