A newly-identified variant of the Covid-19 virus is already said to be circulating in most of South Africa’s provinces.
The C.1.2 variant was first detected in Mpumalanga and Gauteng in May.
A month later, it was detected in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, as well as in England and China.
By mid-August the C.1.2 variant had also been detected in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee’s chair on vaccines Barry Schoub told eNCA that the C.1.2 is still being investigated.
“It’s a potential variant of interest. It is being investigated very intensively.”
Is it going to be more severe? Is it going to escape our vaccine? Is it going to be more contagious? These are unknown and they’re being investigated at the moment,” he said.
The Department of Health’s Deputy Director-General, Anban Pillay, said that the prevalence of the new variant in the samples that have been tested “is very low at this stage”.