News | Opinion
There has been very little good news since the coronavirus engulfed our country a year ago, but there is at least a silver lining to some parts of the Covid-19 cloud – local scientists have discovered those who have been infected by the new South African Covid-19 variant in the second wave are now immune to other variants of the virus.
This positive development was announced by scientists at a briefing hosted by Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform Professor Tulio de Oliveira said: “It means people who have been infected with 501Y.V2 will be immune to other variants and lineages.”
And, according to chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Council Professor Salim Abdool Karim, this finding could assist in developing more effective vaccines in the future.
Anything which can help reduce the awful toll of infections and deaths – and maybe even blunt the possibility of a severe third wave – is to be welcomed.
But at the same time, the announcement emphasises the expertise and commitment of South Africa’s scientists who have been leading the world in this pandemic research. That is also something to celebrate.
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