South African authorities have said that the new variants carry multiple mutations

The Health Ministry has issued an alert on the risk posed by COVID-19 variants first detected in South Africa.

“It has now been reported by National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC) that multiple cases of a COVID-19 variant 8.1.1529 have been reported in Botswana (3 cases), South Africa (6 cases) and Honk Kong (1 case). This variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and thus, has serious public health implications for the country, in view of recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel,” the Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

It said travellers from South Africa must be screened and those who test positive must have their samples sent to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) by the authorities.

South African authorities have said that the new variants carry multiple mutations though it is not clear how threatening they are.



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