The South-African strain of the Covid infection, less sensitive to the vaccines approved in Romania, has been detected in our country for the first time, MedLife experts announced on Friday. Among 93 tests, 2 contained the South-African strain and 72 the UK strain.
In the samples sequenced by MedLife, 77% in Romania, the prevalence of the UK strain has evolved from 12% to 77% in less then two months.
“The UK strain seems to be prevalent in Romania. A new rise in the number of infections is most likely”, the private health operator argued.
Out of 600 samples tested, there were 151 infections with the UK strain and 2 with the strain from South Africa. UK strain cases – 61 in Bucharest, 4 in Constanta, 2 in Dambovita, and one patient of each of the following counties: Ilfov, Galati, Cluj, Teleorman.
The number of coronavirus infections with UK strain has reached 272 in Romania.
According to the World Health Organization, the spread of the South-African strain of SARS-CoV-2, called B.1.351, can be explained by the variant being 50 per cent more transmissible or 20 per cent better at evading the immune response in previously infected people, when compared with previous variants. Lab studies point to the latter. However, experts say that they haven’t noticed so far a rise in the fatality rate due to the new strain, but this lineage may be associated with increased transmissibility.
The B.1.351 version of the novel coronavirus was first identified in South Africa in mid-December and has been detected so far in almost 50 countries.