UK Medical Officer downplays threat of South African COVID variant

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam downplayed the threat of the South African variant amid concerns over the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In a press briefing on Monday, he said: “there is no reason to think the South African variant will catch up or overtake our current virus in the next few months.”

Professor Van-Tam spoke in a press briefing on Monday evening where he reassured the public that the South African variant would not become the UK’s dominant strain | Source: Guardian News

He instead pointed to the imminent threat of the UK’s own strain that was discovered in December of 2020. Vaccines have proven effective against this variant, and the UK has one of the highest global vaccination rates.

South Africa

These concerns came after South Africa ceased the application of the AstraZeneca jab after a study found it only offered mild immunity.

However, the Universities of Witwatersrand and Oxford have noted that the study may have been inaccurate, as there were only 2000 volunteers with an average age of 31.

Case numbers in both countries

The UK is seeing a gradual decrease in cases after a third strict national lockdown implemented the day before New Year’s Eve and a robust vaccination program. However, the national death rate remains relatively high, as the English strain was found to be ~30% more fatal.

UK Coronavirus cases | Image: Google

South Africa is seeing a sharp decrease in number of daily cases.

Coronavirus cases South Africa | Image: Google

Do you want to publish on Apple News, Google News, and more? Join our writing community, improve your writing skills, and be read by hundreds of thousands around the world!

More from World – News Landed

+ Biden says that Trump should not receive intelligence briefings
+ Unraveling Myanmar’s coup

+ Synchronization of brain gamma waves helps in producing unified sound
+ Noise pollution has found its way to deep oceans – A research finds

Related Stories

Will Telosa be the “City of the Future” by 2030?

Shenzhen, China was a sleepy fishing village in 1979. A mere forty years later, it is one of the...

Singapore Road map to become New normal

The deadly coronavirus may never go away but it is possible to live normally with it in our midst....

Featured Stories

Will Telosa be the “City of the Future” by 2030?

Shenzhen, China was a sleepy fishing village in 1979. A mere forty years later, it is one of the...

Low-cost lead adsorbing water filter designed by Indian students

Two students from India have designed a low-cost lead water filter that can be made with locally sourced materials....

Make it Rain! Dubai uses drones to conjure rain from the skies

You can order food, hail a driver, and even find a spouse with the click of a button; but...

Physicists have created the world’s thinnest magnet. Just one atom thick!

Can you guess the size of the thinnest magnet? It is just one atom thick. Scientists from the University of...

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak reverse decision to avoid self-isolation following ping by NHS contact tracing

Following the Health Secretary's diagnosis with COVID-19, the Prime Minister and Chancellor were notified by NHS Test and Trace...

India is one of the largest producers of COVID vaccine and yet faces major internal shortages

The worsening situation in India finally gained some stabilization around September 2020. Usually, when things start getting better, people...