Coronavirus New variant

Experts here say much still unknown about new strain

But there are signs that the B.1.1.529 strain may prove a fresh challenge

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It is too early to tell if the new B.1.1.529 strain of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, which may soon be classified a variant of concern (VOC), will pose a real threat, said experts - but the world is taking its emergence seriously.

This strain was first detected in South Africa on Nov 11, and has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong. It has 32 mutations in the spike protein - about double that of the Delta strain, which now dominates Covid-19 infections around the world.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2021, with the headline Experts here say much still unknown about new strain. Subscribe