BREAKING. UK 🇬🇧 imposes Africa travel restrictions over #B11529 variant fears. This variant is the most alarming variant found since #DeltaVariant discovery. Scientists worldwide are worried. B11529 (S-gene dropout) signals spiking across South Africa. 🧵…
2) In KZN region… #B11529 is now becoming dominant over the region including displacing #Delta. See thread 🧵 below 👇
3) this #B11529 variant has 32 spike mutations — over 2x more than #DeltaVariant had in its spike. Many scientists say B11529 has an “awful spike profile” based on its mutations and locations.
4) one of the bad bad bad mutations in Delta was at 681 amino acid position of the furin cleavage site. #B11529 has another mutation there too. Another reason to worry.
5) The #B11529 dominant graph is from Kwazulu Natal region, where “almost all recent samples” are now #B11529 — the blue dot 🔵— it’s now the major variant there.
6) total #COVID19 positivity surging in the local area with #B11529 — surging from 1% positivity to 30% positivity in just 2 weeks!
7) the spike in S-gene (#B11529) cases yesterday in South Africa… it was across almost **all provinces** of 🇿🇦! That’s a bad bad sign it’s now quickly everywhere there. 👀
8) ⚠️ WORST OF BOTH — #B11529 has mutations seen in other variants that are associated with BOTH 📌higher transmissibility AND 📌immune escape.
9) UK’s travel restrictions make sense. Look at Hong Kong’s hotel quarantine. It barely contained #B11529 after several negative PCR tests that then turned positive.
10) seriously, read this Hong Kong story carefully…. The traveler from South Africa 🇿🇦 actually connected via Doha via @qatarairways! How long was the connection and the cross infection in Qatar???
11) Another model by @JPWeiland says the #NuVariant #B11529 could have a huge 500% competitive advantage over the original strain. This would be cataclysmically bad —let’s wait to confirm further, but let’s be precautions. Precautionary principle is key right now! #COVID19
12) I’ll be sending more updates and alerts in the coming days and weeks. If you have found my thread 🧵 helpful… then subscribe below. Thank you.

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More from @DrEricDing

27 Nov
BREAKING—🇬🇧PM warns: “The #Omicron spreads very rapidly & can be spread between people double vaccinated. There is very extensive mutation—diverges quite significantly from previous, and as a result, might in part reduce the protection of our vaccines over time”. 👀 #BoosterShots Image
2) “we will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of Omicron to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of your vaccination status."… Image
3) This follows UK discovery for 2 cases of #Omicron this morning.
Read 7 tweets
27 Nov
BREAKING—Uk 🇬🇧 now reports its first 2 cases of #OmicronVariant, with Africa travel connection. UK now adds Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola to its travel red list.—“If you have returned from there in the last 10 days you must isolate & get PCR tests”.… Image
2) A country being on the “red list” means that UK residents, as well as British and Irish nationals arriving home from that red list point of departure, must undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine at their own expense. 👀
3) there is likely a big cluster of #Omicron cases among travelers on KLM flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg that landed in Amsterdam yesterday.
Read 6 tweets
27 Nov
NEW—“Dozens” likely infected onboard 2 flights ✈️ carrying ~600 people from South Africa that landed in Netherlands—Dutch health service estimates up to ~85 cases —so far 15 positive from 110 tested. Nearly 500 results still pending—& pending if #Omicron.… Image
2) “The Dutch government banned all air travel from southern Africa early on Friday—passengers already en route to the 🇳🇱 would have to undergo testing and quarantine upon arrival.
Passengers from Cape Town & Johannesburg, said they were kept waiting on the tarmac for hours.”
3) Travel restrictions sadly could be too late. The first EU case of #OmicronVariant detected in Belgium — she didn’t even travel to Sub-Saharan Africa! This means the virus has definitely escaped the region un-detected.
Read 4 tweets
26 Nov
⚠️FIRST #OmicronVariant EUROPE CASE DID **NOT** TRAVEL TO SOUTHERN AFRICA—Tracing details of the Belgium #B11529 case reveals only travel to Egypt🇪🇬 & Turkey 🇹🇷—but not Sub-Saharan Africa at all. I’m concerned #Omicron is global 🌍 already—very worried. 🧵… Image
2) Travel restrictions — many countries implementing them to Southern Africa. But is that enough? This is why international arrival testing + quarantine is likely much better safety net against variant border incursion.
3) The two #B11529 cases in Hong Kong were interesting too. The second HK case acquired it from the first traveler from South Africa in hotel quarantine! Both were vaccinated.
Read 5 tweets
26 Nov
BREAKING—“Omicron Variant”—The World Health Organization designates the new #B11529 strain a "variant of concern" high priority risks rating and gives it the Greek name #Omicron. Image
2) How risky is the new #OmicronVariant? It has potentially 500% competitive advantage compared to the old Wuhan strain. That is staggering. Let’s hope the early data is wrong. But I worry it’s not given WHO concern about it 👇
3) this is the best pandemic strategy. @DrMikeRyan

Be fast. Have no regrets. The greatest error is not to move. Image
Read 8 tweets
26 Nov
📍BREAKING— The European Commission has recommended that EU countries introduce an "emergency brake" on travel from southern Africa due to #B11529… to help "limit the spread", recommending all air travel to affected countries be suspended & "respect strict quarantine rules". 🧵 Image
2) This follows a confirmed case in Belgium, a case in Israel, and 2 cases caught in Hong Kong 🇭🇰 hotel quarantine.
3) here is where a lot of worry is ==> if early data pans out, it’s suggesting 500% virus competitive advantage versus old Wuhan strain. Let’s hope this is wrong. But scientists are worried.
Read 5 tweets

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