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WHO Reportedly Calls Meeting on Friday Over COVID Strain Found in South Africa, Botswana

© AP Photo / Jerome DelayPeople living near the traditional medicine market wait to receive food baskets from private donors, Monday, April 13, 2020 downtown Johannesburg
People living near the traditional medicine market wait to receive food baskets from private donors, Monday, April 13, 2020 downtown Johannesburg - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.11.2021
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LONDON (Sputnik) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) is convening an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the potentially rapidly spreading COVID strain found in South Africa and Botswana, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.
Earlier, the Daily Mail reported that scientists from the UK had warned of the appearance of a coronavirus strain, which contains 32 mutations, in Botswana. Many of the mutations indicate its high transmissibility and resistance to vaccines, the strain has more changes in the spike protein than all other COVID-19 variants.
The South African National Institute of Infectious Diseases later also confirmed that the new strain had been found in South Africa, with 22 cases to date.
Scientists are worried about the fact that a new COVID variant, dubbed the B.1.1.529 strain, has an “extremely high” number of mutations in the spike protein and potentially may be resistant to antibodies that can fight the virus.
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