Monday Jan 30, 2023
Monday Jan 30, 2023

UK, Indian COVID-19 variants detected in South Africa

2021 May 09, 15:59, JOHANNESBURG
In this photo provided by the South African Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS), premier of the Mpumalanga province Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane addresses mourners, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, at the funeral of Cabinet minister Jackson Mthembu, who died of COVID-19 last week. Police are investigating Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane for failing to wear a mask and hugging a police officer at the public funeral. ( Image via RSS/AP)

Eleven cases of COVID-19 variant B117 and four of B16172 variants have been detected in South Africa, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday night.

According to Mkhize, the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa confirmed four cases of the B16172 variant, which was first detected in India, have been detected in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and all the person had a recent history of travelling from India.

Of all the 11 cases of the B117 variant which was first detected in the UK, eight were detected in the Western Cape (with two having a history of travel from Bahrain), one was detected in KwaZulu-Natal and two were detected in Gauteng.

Mkhize said the British variant was spreading in the community.

"The B117 variant has been detected in community samples and this, therefore, suggests that community transitions have already set it," he said.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that work focusing on the variants is being done.

"We would like to assure the public that the institute is focusing their resources and research efforts towards understanding the variants and what the potential implications are for South Africa," said Prof Adrian Puren, the NICD's Acting Executive Director.

South Africa has so far recorded 1,594,817 COVID-19 cases with 54,724 deaths. 


South Africa COVID Variant Detected health minister Zweli Mkhize B117 B16172 Network for Genomic Surveillance National Institute for Communicable Diseases
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