South Africa denies reports of it’s strain of coronavirus being more dangerous than UK strain

South Africa is the country hit hardest by coronavirus on the continent, with close to one million infections so far and 26,000 people dead. Around 14,000 positive cases were detected on each of the past two days, compared with between 8,000 and 10,000 earlier this week.

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South Africa’s health minister has rejected his British counterpart’s claim that a new coronavirus variant in the country is more contagious or dangerous than a similar one in spreading the UK. “At present, there is no evidence that the 501.V2 (variant) is more transmissible than the United Kingdom variant — as suggested by the British Health Secretary,” Zwelini Mkhize said in a statement published late Thursday.

“There is also no evidence that (it) causes more severe disease or increased mortality than the UK variant or any variant that has been sequenced around the world”.Announcing restrictions on travel from South Africa Wednesday, Britain’s Matt Hancock had said that the variant there was “highly concerning, because it is yet more transmissible, and it appears to have mutated further” than the similar strain in Britain.

South Africa is the country hit hardest by coronavirus on the continent, with close to one million infections so far and 26,000 people dead. Around 14,000 positive cases were detected on each of the past two days, compared with between 8,000 and 10,000 earlier this week. Mkhize said on Wednesday that new restrictions could be necessary to slow the virus’ spread.

 

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