Sri Lanka’s health authorities said today (26) that the country’s health system was on alert over this new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa.
The World Health Organization is currently monitoring this new COVID variant, called B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa in small numbers.
Giving an update on this new variant during a news conference held on Thursday (25) Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis at the WHO Maria Van Kerkhove said that they do not know very much about this new variant yet.
“What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” Dr. Maria said.
The monitoring of the new variant comes as Covid cases surge around the world heading into the holiday season, with the WHO reporting hot spots in all regions and particularly in Europe.