The British-identified variant VOC 202012/01 found in 50 countries
Test results showed the age and sex distribution similar to that of other spreading variants
The South African-identified variant 501Y.V2, first reported on December 18, detected in 20 countries
The coronavirus mutation first found in Britain spread to 50 countries according to the World Health Organization, while a similar South African-identified strain discovered in 20.
Naijablaze.Com gathered that a third new coronavirus “variant of concern” originated in Japan may impact upon immune response and needs further investigation.
“The more the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to change. High levels of transmission mean that we should expect more variants to emerge,” said the WHO.
From the time when the first being reported to the WHO on December 14, the British-identified variant VOC 202012/01 found in 50 countries, territories and areas, the agency said.
Test results showed the age and sex distribution similar to that of other spreading variants, while contact tracing data revealed “higher transmissibility (secondary attack rates) where the index case has the variant strain”.
The South African-identified variant 501Y.V2, first reported on December 18, detected in 20 countries, territories and areas.
“From preliminary and ongoing investigations in South Africa, it is possible that the 501Y.V2 variant is more transmissible than variants circulating in South Africa previously,” the WHO weekly report said.
“Moreover, while this new variant does not appear to cause more severe illness, the observed rapid increases in case numbers has placed health systems under pressure.”
The geographical spread of both variants is likely underestimated, said the WHO, given a bias towards detection in countries with virus sequencing capacity.