African disease authorities have detected a new coronavirus variant in a traveller travelling from Tanzania to Angola.
The African Centres for Disease Control (CDC) said the variant had about 40 mutations.
The head of the CDC, John Nkengasong, said in a news conference on Thursday that it was “certainly a variant of concern.’’
Tracking the variant may prove impossible as Tanzania reveals no data about coronavirus figures.
The late president John Magufuli, who died recently resisted moves to combat the coronavirus during his time in power.
With little evidence to go on, Nkengasong said that it was difficult to know whether current vaccines would help fight off the new virus mutation.
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“We don’t yet know if you bring it in contact with neutralising antibodies if that actually translates into activities in knocking it out,’’ he said.
Along with many other countries, the continent is heading for a third wave of COVID-19, Nkengasong said.
The coronavirus variant first detected in Britain and the one detected in South Africa, have both been recorded in 18 countries across the African continent, according to the CDC.
Nkengasong welcomed the fact that one of the vaccine makers, Johnson & Johnson, has agreed to start producing its vaccine in South Africa.
The firm had agreed to supply 220 million doses, with an option for 180 million more, the vast majority of which would be made in South Africa.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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