Coronavirus variants stir worry among health and science experts

Oxygen reserves for patients are running low in six Brazilian states, while Covid-19 patients are being sent home due to a shortage of hospital beds, as the P1 variant spreads through the country. — Photos: AFP

When any virus spreads through a population, it evolves over time through mutations, which are changes in the virus’ genetic sequence.

As such, the emergence of new viral variants is not unexpected – a changed virus is called a variant of the original virus.

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