After new and potentially more infectious variants of COVID-19 were detected many countries have closed their borders with the United Kingdom and South Africa and canceled direct flights to and from the countries.
On Tuesday Nepal suspended all flights from and to the UK, amid concerns about a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is “spreading & growing rapidly” there which is the new strain of COVID-19. Several other countries, too, have suspended UK flights and imposed travel restrictions.
COVID-19 new strains
In the previous week, the new SARS-CoV-2 variant was revealed to be the reason behind the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in South and East England. It is being referred to as VUI (Variant Under Investigation) 202012/01, or the B.1.1.7 lineage.
“As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modeling data, and rapidly increasing cases in the south-east,” he announced, “the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) now considers that the new strain can spread more quickly.
What is the new variant of COVID-19 like?
This new variant was identified in genomic surveillance by COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK), a consortium that analyses genome sequencing data from the UK. COG-UK is the largest contributor to the global Covid-19 database GISAID.
The variation is the consequence of different transformations in the spike protein of the novel Covid SARS-CoV-2, just as changes in other genomic districts of the RNA infection. Starter investigation recommends that it is more contagious than already flowing variations. Gear-tooth UK distinguished one of these transformations as “N501Y”, in a zone of the spike protein that ties to a critical protein in the human cell, the ACE2 receptor. This meant that the modifications may, hypothetically, bring about the infection getting more irresistible. “Endeavors are in progress to affirm whether any of these transformations are adding to expanded transmission,” the consortium said.
How rapidly has it spread?
Experts say that as a single case of the new strain could spread across the country, it is necessary for the government to step up its efforts to prevent that from happening. “A single case of the new strain of coronavirus will be sufficient to spread throughout the country,” Dr. Harish Chandra Upreti, a former director at the National Public Health Laboratory.
Will it impact vaccine development and reaction?
On Sunday, UK specialists said further lab work is being attempted as a need to get this. “There is right now no proof to propose that the Pfizer antibody would not ensure individuals against the new strain,” PHE said.
Source: The Guardian, The Kathmandupost, etc.