Those who get 501Y.V2 variant protected from other variants - SA scientists

A genomics team, led by the Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), detected the 501Y.V2 variant last year.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on 20 July 2020 inspects the Nasrec field hospital's state of readiness amidst the province's increase in coronavirus cases. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Scientists say people infected with the 501Y.V2 variant generate immune responses that offers them protection against other coronavirus variants.

They are joined by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize in giving an update on Wednesday on local research conducted on the second variant of the coronavirus.

A genomics team, led by the Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), detected the 501Y.V2 variant last year.

Scientists found the variant is more transmissible but does not cause more severe forms of COVID-19.

Government has since made R25 million available to KRISP to undertake more research on the variant's characteristics.

Nzimande said: “Those who were infected in the second wave, which was dominated by what we’ve have now been referring to as the new variant 501Y.V2, have protection from past and current circulating variants.”

WATCH LIVE: Nzimande, Mkhize give update on scientific results on COVID variant

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.