The latest reports emerging from across the world is that a new strain of covid-19 has emerged with strongest indication that it might send nations back into lock down, closure of schools, ban on public gatherings and other stringent measures. CDC has identified the new strain as SARS-CoV-2. It further notes that this variant is highly prevalent in London and southeast England. This has led to over 40 countries banning flights from the UK.
However, reports have since emerged that UK is not the only country that has this new strain. South Africa has as well been adversely affected. From data send to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the South African government, 60% of the latest surge in covid-19 cases in the country is as a result of this new strain. It is said to spread faster and it is more deadly than the previous variant. Another notable characteristic about this new variant is that it is non-discriminatory; affects both the young and old.
Aljazeera on Saturday reported that France and Lebanon have also confirmed the first positive cases of this new strain. This means it has started spreading to other nations. This comes a day after Africa CDC confirmed the first positive case of this new strain in Nigeria. On Wednesday, Italy as well confirmed cases of this new covid-19 strain.
Therefore in a matter of days, six countries have already reported cases of this new strain putting the WHO and CDC on high alert. This is threatening to water down gains made so far in developing a vaccine for covid-19. It is not yet established if the already developed vaccines can work against this new strain but scientists have expressed strong doubts.
As the Kenyan government moves to reopening schools for all students on January 4th, they now face a possibility of closing schools again if that new strain lands in Kenya and wreak havoc. Since our airport are still open to flights from all other world including UK and South Africa which have high cases of this new strain, there are high chances of it getting here. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering another nationwide lock down due to this new outbreak. That is a strong indicator of how serious this new strain is and a pointer that Kenya might as well enter into another lock down sometime next year.