No proof to say Covid variant present in South Africa extra contagious, says well being minister


Saying restrictions on journey from South Africa Wednesday, Britain’s Matt Hancock had mentioned that the variant there was “extremely regarding, as a result of it’s but extra transmissible, and it seems to have mutated additional” than the same pressure in Britain.

File picture of South African Well being Minister Zwelini Mkhize (Image Courtesy: Twitter @SAgovnews)

South Africa’s well being minister has rejected his British counterpart’s declare {that a} new coronavirus variant within the nation is extra contagious or harmful than the same one in spreading the UK.

“At current, there is no such thing as a proof that the 501.V2 (variant) is extra transmissible than the UK variant — as prompt by the British Well being Secretary,” Zwelini Mkhize mentioned in a press release revealed late Thursday.

“There may be additionally no proof that (it) causes extra extreme illness or elevated mortality than the UK variant or any variant that has been sequenced all over the world”.

Saying restrictions on journey from South Africa Wednesday, Britain’s Matt Hancock had mentioned that the variant there was “extremely regarding, as a result of it’s but extra transmissible, and it seems to have mutated additional” than the same pressure in Britain.

The British minister’s phrases “have created a notion that the variant in SA has been a significant component within the second wave in UK,” Mkhize mentioned. “This isn’t appropriate.”

He pointed to proof that the British pressure, which bears the same mutation to the South African one, appeared as early as September in southeastern county Kent — “roughly a month earlier than the South African variant seems to have developed”.

Citing “the extensively shared view of the scientific group,” Mkhize additionally argued that “the dangers of journey bans might outweigh the advantages”. “Banning journey between UK and SA is an unlucky determination,” he added.

South Africa is the country hit hardest by coronavirus on the continent, with shut to at least one million infections to date and 26,000 folks useless. Round 14,000 optimistic instances have been detected on every of the previous two days, in contrast with between 8,000 and 10,000 earlier this week. Mkhize mentioned on Wednesday that new restrictions could possibly be essential to gradual the virus’ unfold.



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