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Coronavirus

New Virus Variant Appears to Emerge in Nigeria

December 24, 2020

NAIROBI, Kenya — Africa’s top public health official says another new variant of the coronavirus appears to have emerged in Nigeria, but further investigation is needed.

John Nkengasong, the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters on Thursday that “it’s a separate lineage from the UK and South Africa.” He said the Nigeria CDC and the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases will analyze more samples.

The new variant in South Africa is now the predominant one there, Nkengasong said, as confirmed infections in the country approach 1 million. While the variant transmits quickly and viral loads are higher, it is not yet clear whether it leads to a more severe disease, he said.

He said health authorities believe the the South Africa variant “will not have an effect” on the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to the continent.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. The new variant in South Africa now makes up most of the country’s rapidly rising new cases. South Africa’s health minister says there is an “alarming rate of spread.”

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Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

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