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Vietnam suspends flights from Britain, SA

Vietnam suspends flights from Britain, SA

VIETNAM has suspended inbound flights from countries with new COVID-19 variants, initially Britain and South Africa, the health ministry has announced. A new variant first found in Britain includes a genetic mutation that could result in the virus spreading more easily between people. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Picture: Twitter "The risk for the disease to penetrate and spread in Vietnam is very high, especially from people entering from infected countries," the ministry said in a statement. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told authorities to work on a list of other countries that should be covered by the suspension,…
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How the coronavirus mutates and what this means for the future of COVID-19

How the coronavirus mutates and what this means for the future of COVID-19

THE recent appearance of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus causing COVID-19 infections), that may be associated with increased transmission of the virus and disease severity, has raised questions about the nature and rates of mutations in viruses. The answers to these questions will potentially guide public health decisions. However, it is also important for individuals to understand them so as to prevent potential panic. ED RYBICKI, Director, Biopharming Research Unit; and Member, Institute of infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town ANNA-LISE WILLIAMSON, Professor in Vaccinology, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town…
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Guinea takes part in Olympics

Guinea takes part in Olympics

GUINEA’S five athletes will participate in the Tokyo Olympics after all, a statement from the West African nation's sports ministry has said, reversing the previous day's decision to suspend its participation in the Games citing the pandemic. On Wednesday, Sports Minister Sanoussy Bantama Sow said in a letter to the country's National Olympic Committee that the government had cancelled Guinea's participation to "preserve the health of its athletes" due to a surge in COVID-19 variants. Daily coronavirus infections in Tokyo rose to 1,979 cases on Thursday, the city said, the highest level since January. The July 21 letter seen by…
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UK to track COVID-19 variants with genomic sequencing across the world

UK to track COVID-19 variants with genomic sequencing across the world

BRITAIN has announced that it would provide genomic sequencing support to Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan to help identify, assess and track new variants of the novel coronavirus. The novel coronavirus, which has killed 4 million people globally since it emerged in China in late 2019, mutates around once every few weeks, slower than influenza or HIV, but enough to require tweaks to vaccines. Public Health England will extend support to Britain's partners through the New Variant Assessment Platform Programme which tracks changes in the virus. About a third of all SARS-CoV-2 sequences submitted to the international GISAID database…
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