Busy day on B.1.1.529 - a variant of great concern - The world should provide support to South Africa and Africa and not discriminate or isolate it! By protecting and supporting it, we will protect the world! A plea for billionaires and financial institutions. 1/8 tweets
We have been very transparent with scientific information. We identified, made data public, and raised the alarm as the infections are just increasing. We did this to protect our country and the world in spite of potentially suffering massive discrimination.
This new variant is really worrisome at the mutational level. South Africa and Africa will need support (financially, public health, scientific) to control it so it does not spread in the world. Our poor and deprived population can not be in lockdown without financial support.
This new variant, B.1.1.529 seems to spread very quick! In less than 2 weeks now dominates all infections following a devastating Delta wave in South Africa (Blue new variant, now at 75% of last genomes and soon to reach 100%)
Because this variant (B.1.1.529) can be detected by a normal qPCR due to deletion at Spike position 69-70 (like Alpha), it will make it easy for the world to track it. We estimate that 90% of the cases in Gauteng (at least 1000 a day are this variant, due to qPCR proxy testing)
We are working around the clock to understand effects on 1) Transmissibility, 2) vaccines, 3) Re-infection, disease severity, and diagnostics. We do have funding for science, but South Africa and Africa need financial help to support their deprived population and health system.
I would like to plea to all billionaires in this world @elonmusk @BillGates @JeffBezos @DrPatSoonShiong @WarrenBuffett to support Africa & South Africa financially to control and extinguish variants! By protecting its poor and oppressed population we will protect the world.
I also want to plea to financial organizations @WorldBank @IMFNews @USAID @PEPFAR @GlobalFund to support the poor population and governments in South Africa and Africa to control and extinguish variants! By protecting its poor and oppressed population we will protect the world.

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More from @Tuliodna

21 Oct
A thread on the Delta AY.4.2 in South Africa. AY.4.2 has been detected in very small numbers in SA. No current cause for alarm – continued surveillance and monitoring important. Tweet 1/6
In total 6 of 9,017, Delta genomes in SA are the sub-lineage AY.4.2 (PANGO analysis as of today). No sign of growth and the current COVID-19 cases in SA. On the opposite, infections in SA are current low, and the positivity rate is also very low. Tweet 2/6
These six genomes have been found in 5 provinces and no cluster of infections of AY.4.2 - Tweet 3/6
Read 6 tweets
23 Sep
Publication online - Rapid replacement of the SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant by the Delta variant in South Africa - ceri.africa/publication/?t…
The Delta variant was imported to South Africa primarily from India, spread rapidly in all provinces, and became dominant within 3 months of introduction. Associated with a resurgence in community transmission and a 3rd wave which was associated with a high number of deaths
We estimated a growth advantage for the Delta variant in South Africa of 0.089 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.084-0.093) per day which corresponds to a transmission advantage of 46% (95% CI 44-48) compared to the Beta variant.
Read 14 tweets
9 Sep
Because the pandemic is very fast-moving, we are updating every week the results of our pan-African collaboration published in Science today at: genomics.africa/sars-cov-2-das…
SARS-CoV-2 variants in lineages in African countries
This is the work of 100s of authors from 122 African organizations, see the author list and please credit their work! See: Wilkinson et al. Science 2021 - science.org/doi/10.1126/sc…
Read 5 tweets
9 Sep
'Although distorted by low sampling numbers and blind spots, the findings highlight that Africa must not be left behind in the global pandemic response, otherwise it could become a source for new variants'. science.org/doi/10.1126/sc…
So many people to thank! 100s of authors from Africa and funders to believe that we can do high-level science that influences public health response - Thanks, @RockefellerFdn @RickABright @fdesouza @illumina @thermofisher @stevensonmarkp @WHOAFRO @AfricaCDC @dsigovza
The most rewarding part of this collaboration was the holistic approach of trust and capacity building! What to say! African dream team working together @christian_happi @houzhou @Mittenavoig @EduanWilkinson @rjlessells
Read 4 tweets
27 Aug
Evolution of the C.1 lineage in South Africa with multiple Spike mutations - pre-print at: medrxiv.org/content/10.110… - In this tweet thread, I highlight this lineage (assigned as C.1.2), the potential impact of the mutations, and the likelihood that this become a variant of concern
The C.1.2 has 14 mutations in Spike, including three mutations at the Receptor Binding Motif, the Y449H, E484K, and N501Y - two of the mutations have been found in three of the four variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma).
In relationship to decrease neutralization, in addition to the E484K, there are also deletions at position 144 and positions 242-243, the 144 deletions are also seen in the Alpha and the 242-243 in the Beta, which associates with a decrease neutralization of antibodies
Read 13 tweets
23 Jul
Seems that the level4 restrictions in South Africa helped to control the third wave of #COVID19 - Reproductive number < 1 in the whole country and in most provinces.
The Western Cape and Eastern Cape seem to have peaked now, R =1
Gauteng #COVID19 cases are really in the downward path, R = 0.6
Read 5 tweets

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