After a lot of struggle and difficulties, our lifestyle is slowly normalizing. Invention and authorization of vaccines bring new hope among the people. But unfortunately, news of new strain of COVID-19 emerging from different regions of the world has started to disturb the people and panic everyone again. Recently, Britain and South Africa announced that they have discovered a new strain of coronavirus in some states. Scientists and health ministries of these nations said that the new strain identified is even more transmissible than the former. People suffered throughout the 2020 year from this unprecedented crisis and were hoping to get rid of it in the New Year. Now, with this new strain people are worrying that will we get over the pandemic even in 2021?
Everyone including people living far from their home was eagerly waiting for festival season to unite and enjoy with their families and loved ones. But now they are surprised upon learning about the new strain. This new variant of the coronavirus has affected their traveling and put a stop to the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
A new mutation in South Africa
South Africa has recorded the highest number of Coronavirus infections in the African continent. A new strain of the Coronavirus is driving a surge in cases in South Africa. The health minister of Africa said that the new variant is dominant among new confirmed infections, with higher numbers of confirmed cases. People are getting infected with this strain at a faster rate which increases the cases of infections and deaths. The health officials and scientists leading the country’s virus strategy are studying if the vaccines against COVID-19 will also offer protection against the new strain.
This new variant has also infected people in Nigeria according to some surveys that showed some positive cases in the area. Nigeria is in the spotlight as infections surge. Experts warned that the country will face another wave in some time. In this wave, South Africa may see many more cases than it experienced in the first wave of the virus. The government has taken some preventive actions to control the spread of infection from this new strain of Covid.
A new mutation in Britain
Earlier, scientists in the United Kingdom have detected two cases of a new variant of coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. Britain is already trying to curb the spread of a new strain of the virus which is up to 70% more transmissible. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the infected cases of this new strain are linked to South Africa. Scientists are deeply studying the nature of this new variant to know its origin.
After the discovery of this new strain, Britain’s government imposed immediate restrictions on travel from South Africa. People who have returned from South Africa or come in contact with an infected person are being quarantined. This mutated virus has a higher propensity to infect children. However, the UK hopes to reach a figure of half a million vaccinations that can put the spread of infection to an end.
Symptoms of the new strain of COVID-19
It is too early to say with certainty if the new Covid strain will cause any symptoms different from the old strain. Apart from the regular symptoms of Covid which include a dry cough and mild fever, some other symptoms are also seen in the new strain. These symptoms are:
- Continuous cough
- Chest pains, fever
- Muscle pain
Actions taken to control the spread of the new strain of COVID-19
Authorities of South Africa have immediately stopped the country’s flight services to other nations. Amid the fear of infection caused by the new strain, the African government has introduced tougher lockdown restrictions. The government has also imposed restrictions on the days and hours for the trade of alcohol and the closure of beaches in hotspot areas. Moreover, other countries like Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Israel and Mauritius have banned flights from South Africa. The motive behind this action is to stop the importing of a new variant that is more contagious than the older one.
On the other hand, in Britain, the government announced a Tier 4 lockdown at 10 Downing Street in London to control the infection. Wales introduced a strict lockdown, while Scotland has banned travel to and from other UK regions. In the season of Christmas festivities, people are traveling to meet their loved ones. But amidst the pandemic, other countries like UAE, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Spain, etc. have banned flight services from Britain.
Impact of new Covid-19 strain in India
Unlike other countries, India may have a good recovery rate but we still have not received any vaccine. The total number of corona positive cases in India is around one crore. The new strain has the potential to infect people more rapidly than the previous strain of the virus. This increases the concern of the Health Ministry because if India faces another wave of this new mutation, then it is going to badly impact the country. However, vaccine-producing companies including BioTech are claiming that their invented vaccine can control the new variant infection as well. If the vaccine could not control the spreading of this new mutation, then the companies within a few weeks can modify the vaccines. These modified vaccines will strongly reduce the infection in due course of time.
But as per the recent updates, India is free from the infection of the new strain of COVID-19. Despite the less danger, Indian authorities are taking several preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection. The Health Ministry has made the RT-PCR test mandatory for all the passengers who are arriving from the UK. The mutant Coronavirus strain has forced India to suspend flights from the UK. The designated labs are testing the samples of passengers who have returned from the UK. The people are being requested to get quarantine to stop the spread of this new mutation.
How to prevent from the new strain of coronavirus?
It’s is a natural and expected phenomenon that viruses mutate over time. So, the mutation in Coronavirus is not a surprise for scientists. We are very close to receiving the vaccines and many countries have started already getting doses of vaccines. The vaccine makers are also claiming that they can cure the new variant of the virus. Hence as per some health officials, this new strain is not a big concern.
We cannot rely on vaccines only. When the virus changes its method of attack, we must change our method of defense. What we can do is that we can continue to take all the precautionary steps to avoid the risk of getting infected. Always cover your face with a mask when you are outside. Maintain a proper distance with people in the markets and use sanitizers. Try to avoid going out until and unless it is necessary. Keep taking vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables. Take a diet that will boost your immunity because our safety is in our hands.
To know more about the condition of COVID-19 in India click on the link below-