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New strain found in South Africa marks 'big jump in evolution' of Covid-19

In the past two days, scientists detected the B1.1.529 variant after observing an increase in infections in South Africa's economic hub surrounding Johannesburg.

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File photo: A miner receives a Covid-19 vaccine at Anglo American Platinum Ltd.'s Tumela mine in Amandelbult, South Africa. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Lynsey Chutel and Andrés R Martínez | NYT Johannesburg
Scientists in South Africa identified on Thursday a concerning new variant of the coronavirus, whose mutations mark a “big jump in evolution” that is driving a spike in new cases. Hours later, Britain banned flights from six southern African nations, citing the variant.

In the past two days, scientists detected the B1.1.529 variant after observing an increase in infections in South Africa’s economic hub surrounding Johannesburg. So far, 22 positive cases have been identified in the country, according to South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases. One case has been detected in Hong Kong from someone who had traveled from

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First Published: Nov 26 2021 | 9:46 AM IST

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