This is according to a report in The Guardian newspaper. The B.1.1.529 variant was first spotted in Botswana, where 3 cases have now been sequenced. 6 more have been confirmed in South Africa, and one in Hong Kong in a traveller returning from South Africa. Only 10 cases in 3 countries have been confirmed by gee-noh-mic sequencing, but the variant has sparked serious concern among some researchers because a number of the mutations may help the virus evade immunity.
Scientists have said a new Covid-19 variant, also detected in South Africa, carries an extremely high number of mutations which may drive further waves of the disease by evading the body’s defences.