In South Africa and other countries, a new mutation has been found that has a stronger transmission power than the existing mutation and has concerns about incapacitating the vaccine. The UK immediately suspended flights from South Africa and other countries.
By Kim Young-ah, staff reporter.
The newly discovered mutation was first identified in Botswana, Africa, on the 11th of last month.
It has since been rediscovered in South Africa and Hong Kong.
This mutation was confirmed to have 32 gene mutations in the spike protein.
The South African Ministry of Health said the mutant virus was the background to the recent surge in confirmed cases.
[조 파흘라/남아공 보건부 장관 : 과학자들이 변이 바이러스의 유전자를 분석한 결과 새로운 변이라는 사실이 확인되었습니다.]
Coronaviruses use spike proteins to penetrate cells.
This raises concerns that the newly discovered mutation may not only have much greater transmission power, but may also invalidate existing vaccines.
The UK immediately suspended flights from South Africa and Botswana, as well as six neighboring African countries.
[사비드 자비드/영국 보건장관 : 과학자들이 심각하게 우려하고 있습니다. 저도 마찬가지입니다. 그래서 항공편 운항 중단 조치를 취한 것입니다.]
The UK government has also decided to quarantine its citizens returning from six countries where flights have been suspended.