Scientists have warned that the new Covid variant is the “most mutated so far” which is now in the UK and is spreading faster.
The new virus is being carefully monitored and once scientist has warned it could get far “worse than what we are witnessing now.”
The new variant has been called C.1.2 which first appeared in South Africa in May could be more infectious than other Covid variants and could escape the effect of vaccines.
In a report published in the journal Nature said, “We describe and characterise a newly identified SARS-CoV-2 lineage with several spike mutations that is likely to have emerged in a major metropolitan area in South Africa after the first wave of the epidemic, and then to have spread to multiple locations within two neighbouring provinces.
“We show that this lineage has rapidly expanded and become dominant in three provinces, at the same time as there has been a rapid resurgence in infections.
“Although the full import of the mutations is not yet clear, the genomic and epidemiological data suggest that this variant has a selective advantage from increased transmissibility, immune escape or both.”
Last week an expert warned of a new variant called “Covid-22” which could be more deadly next year.
Immunologist Professor Doctor Sai Reddy warned that we “have to prepare” for a new variant in 2022 which could be a “big risk.”
Professor Reddy said, “Covid-22 could get worse than what we are witnessing now.
“If such a variant appears, we have to recognize it as early as possible and the vaccine manufacturers have to adapt the vaccine quickly.
“The emergence of this new variant is the big risk.
“We have to prepare for it.”
He added, “It is the next phase of the pandemic when Beta or Gamma become more infectious or Delta develops escape mutations. That will be the big problem for the coming year.”
Scientists who advise the government, have said “vaccines do not provide absolute sterilising immunity.”