Travel bans imposed over new COVID-19 variant found in South Africa
"What we do know is there's a significant number of mutations, perhaps double the number of mutations that we have seen in the Delta variant," Britain's Health Minister Sajid Javid told broadcasters.
"And that would suggest that it may well be more transmissible and the current vaccines that we have may well be less effective."
Lab studies are needed to assess the likelihood of the mutations resulting in greatly reduced vaccine efficacy, scientists said.
Earlier on Thursday, South African scientists said they had detected the new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and were working to understand its potential implications.
The variant has a "very unusual constellation" of mutations, which are concerning because they could help it evade the body's immune response and make it more transmissible, the scientists told reporters …
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