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‘Due for a new variant’: Concerning new COVID-19 strain under investigation

Neil Mitchell

A new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa has sparked global concern.

The UK has imposed bans on travellers from six African countries due to the variant, which British experts believe could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines to as little as 30 per cent.

Infectious diseases specialist at Sydney University, Professor Robert Booy, says it has 32 mutations in the spike protein.

Cases of the new variant are mostly among young people in Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province.

“Only a couple of weeks ago there were only a handful of cases … and now I’m reading this morning there are over 100 cases in Gauteng province,” Professor Booy told Neil Mitchell.

It’s nearly a year since the Delta variant came along, and Professor Booy says we’re “due for a new variant”.

“Is this the one? We can’t be sure but the WHO is convening a meeting today to check it out,” he said.

“I think we need to maintain our restrictions at a careful level, and I think we need to wait and see what the WHO comes up with today.”

Press PLAY below to hear more about the concerning new variant + Victoria’s COVID cases

Neil Mitchell