New COVID-19 variant detected in traveler at Angola

A new coronavirus variant has been discovered in a traveller from Tanzania to Angola, according to African disease authorities.

According to the African Centres for Disease Control (CDC), the variant contained about 40 mutations.

In a news conference on Thursday, CDC Director John Nkengasong said it was “certainly a variant of concern.”

It may be difficult to track down the variant since Tanzania has no details on coronavirus numbers.

During his time in office, the late President John Magufuli fought against efforts to combat the coronavirus.

Nkengasong said it was difficult to tell whether existing vaccines would help combat the new virus mutation because there was no evidence to go on.

“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.

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