An individual from a suburb east of New York Metropolis has been confirmed as the primary New York resident to have been contaminated by a extra contagious variant of the coronavirus that emerged in South Africa, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo mentioned on Sunday.
Few different particulars had been provided in regards to the case, together with particularly when it was confirmed or whether or not the person who was contaminated, a resident of Nassau County on Lengthy Island, had lately traveled. It was not the primary case of the South Africa variant to be present in New York; Mr. Cuomo introduced final Monday that the variant had been detected in a person from Connecticut who was hospitalized in New York Metropolis.
The variant, referred to as B.1.351, was initially recognized in South Africa in December, and has since been discovered in dozens of different international locations and at the very least 9 states, together with California, Texas and Virginia. The variant carries mutations that assist it latch on extra tightly to human cells and which will assist the virus evade some antibodies.
Its emergence in New York, which officers had warned was inevitable, underscored the risks posed by new variants which may be extra infectious or immune to vaccines, notably because the state’s vaccination effort continues to be hampered by a restricted provide of doses.
“We’re in a race proper now — between our capability to vaccinate and these variants that are actively attempting to proliferate — and we’ll solely win that race if we keep good and disciplined,” Mr. Cuomo mentioned in an announcement on Sunday.
Two weeks in the past, South Africa halted using the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine after proof emerged that it didn’t defend members in a scientific trial from delicate or average sickness brought on by the variant.
Scientists in South Africa have additionally mentioned that the immunity acquired by individuals contaminated by earlier variations of the coronavirus didn’t seem to guard them from delicate or average instances when reinfected by the South Africa variant.
The Meals and Drug Administration is engaged on a plan to replace vaccines if the variant surges in america.
However Mr. Cuomo on Sunday additionally provided motive for optimism, noting that the statewide charge of constructive take a look at outcomes was lower than three p.c for the primary time since November. He mentioned that hospitalizations additionally continued to say no statewide.