13 Mutations – Deadly India Variant in South Africa

The dreaded India variant made up of 13 mutations of the Coronavirus discovered in South Africa as the country enters a third wave of the Pandemic

14 months ago, it became very apparent to all South Africans that our beloved country is not isolated from the rest of the world and that South Africa is not an isolated island with no influence from other countries. 14 months ago, China sneezed, and the entire world was infected with the dreaded Coronavirus.

Today, in less than 2 years after the first case was detected in China, we have come a long way in understanding and combatting this virus. We have successfully managed to put in place treatment regimes and have successfully created vaccines to protect our civilization against the worst threat to humanity in modern history.

Though over the past 18 months, 2,6% or 163’000’000 of the world’s population have been infected with the Coronavirus and 0,05% or 3’400’000 of the world’s population have died from the pandemic, though there are still a minority of people in South Africa and across the world who believe that this Pandemic is not as serious as it is made out to be.

These people refuse to wear masks and refuse to practice social distancing, a practice which has proven to prevent the spread of the virus and as a result have put their respective families and the public at large at risk of infection and maybe even death.

Well, in response to these intellectually challenged people who have been so reckless over the past 18 months in South Africa and the world, all I can say is that this pandemic has just reached warp speed and if heed is not taken, be prepared to lose family members and large numbers of our population due to the new mutations found in the world recently.

In March 2021, India discovered a new variant of the Coronavirus dubbed B.1.617 and better known as the double mutant. This variant carries 13 mutations of the Covid-19 virus, is 20% more transmissible, is twice as contagious and twice as deadly. It is also referred to as an escape mutation as it enables SARS-Cov-2 to evade immune protection with monoclonal antibodies which could decrease the effectiveness of current vaccines.

In December 2020, India’s Health Minister declared that India had reached herd immunity after a large percentage of the population were already infected with the virus and claimed that they had beaten the virus. Yet in March 2021, the country was catapulted into a disastrous situation after the discovery of the new variant and today the country is experiencing close to 5000 deaths per day.

So, many South Africans might think that India is an entire Hemisphere away and that it poses no risk to our country and its people. If you think so, then now is the time to change your thinking as in April 2021, we saw the new variant travel half way around the world with cases detected in San Francisco in the United States of America.

At the beginning of May 2021, our worst fears were realised when 4 cases of the Indian variant were discovered in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. All the 4 people who tested positive to the variant had travelled to India and returned to South Africa. In response to the discovery of the Indian variant, the South African Minister of Health advised the government to impose travel restriction to contain the deadly mutation of the virus.

In March 2021, South Africa managed to overcome a second wave of the pandemic, though the second wave proved to be more deadly. Today there is a tremendous amount of data to suggest that South Africa has already entered a third wave of the dreaded pandemic. A big concern with the onset of a third wave is the presence of the Indian variant currently spreading in South Africa.

We therefore must take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, our families, and communities against this dreaded pandemic.

Between 1918 and 1920, the world experienced a similar pandemic commonly known as the Spanish Flu but scientifically known as the H1N1 Influenza A Virus. During this time, the world would see more than 500 million people infected and between 20 to 50 million deaths. The Spanish Flu spread throughout the world and experience 4 deadly waves which ravaged the world over the 2 1/2-year period. When it eventually ended in late 1920, one third of the world’s population had been infected.

Currently, the Covid-19 Pandemic has been around for 18 months and considering the rate at which the new mutation has spread in India, the world could very possibly surpass the infection numbers of the Spanish Flu of 2018 within the next only 4 months in the world.

So, we as the human population of the world have 2 choices, we could either heed the calls to mask up and social distance for the benefit of everyone or start preparing graves for close members of our families, as many will definitely die if precautions are not taken.

This Global Covid Crisis is far from over so lets all play our part to protect ourselves and society at large.

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