S. Africa Scientists Say New Covid Variant’s Spread Slows

South African scientists said a new variant, with a concerning number of mutations, spread at a slower rate last month than in July. 

The so-called C.1.2 variant accounted for just 1.5% of all virus samples sequenced in the country in August compared with 2.2% in July, according to the Network for Genomic Surveillance South Africa. 

The variant, first identified in South Africa, has been found in a number of countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Portugal, New Zealand and Switzerland.

The slowing of the spread of the variant could indicate that it’s unlikely to become dominant in the manner that previous mutations such as the beta and delta variants have become. The delta variant, first identified in India, is currently dominant in South Africa.

South Africa has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in Africa with a death toll of more than 83,000. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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