Discovery of new Covid-19 variant should not worry people, says NICD

Johannesburg- The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has issued a statement to set the record straight on the latest Covid-19 variant.

According to the NICD, in December 2021, the new Covid-19 variant, BA.2 was first identified in India and SA.

It is believed to have emerged from a mutation of Omicron.


However, the health body has released the latest on the variant, which aims to calm people’s anxieties on the pandemic.

NICD virologist Penny Moore said there is no need to panic, during a briefing.

“In terms of whether it is cause for concern, we actually don’t have enough data. We are studying it. I don’t see any reason we should be concerned. We are monitoring it in South Africa.”

Recently, health minister Joe Phaahla warned that a new variant could see the country enter the fifth wave of Covid-19 infections sooner than expected and the fifth wave could be worsened by cold weather and the flu season.

“If there is no variant of serious concern very soon, we definitely would expect a wave somewhere around May, when winter starts. That’s when people start to congregate indoors because of the cold. That’s also when flu season starts,” Phaahla concluded.

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