This Thursday South African scientists and health authorities announced the discovery of a new variant of covid-19, identified as B.1.1.529. It is characterized by presenting multiple mutations (slightly more than thirty) that arouse the concern of specialists for its possible impact on transmissibility and for its potential ability to evade prior immunity or protection.
It is estimated that the new variant could be behind the significant increase in covid-19 cases diagnosed in the South African province of Gauteng (where Johannesburg and Pretoria are) in recent days.
Zacarías Bustos, representative for South America of Endcoronavirus.org, shared a thread of tweets with data from Yaneer Bar-Yam, an expert in quantitative analysis of pandemics. There he gives an account of rapid progress of cases in Gauteng, especially in Tshwane Township.