Cape Town – Dr Zweli Mkhize, Health Minister recently confirmed that the life threatening B.1.617 variant which is currently ravaging India has not been discovered in South Africa. Following a reported case of the coronavirus detected in KwaZulu Natal, alleged that the patient recently travelled to India. Mkhize called for calm.
The incident has raised fears about the possibility of the variant being detected in South Africa. Mkhize mentioned that they have not detected the variant as yet in South Africa. However they have consulted members of the genomics team. “We have consulted members of the genomics team who have informed us that they have intensified their surveillance, not only to ensure that variant can be detected quickly but also to understand what the implications are for us in the context of B.1.351 being the dominant variant in South Africa,” he said.
He further added that he would consult the Ministerial Advisory Committee on other measures regarding travellers from countries that have other variants of the virus. “We wish to reassure citizens that there are no direct flights from India and that all our ports of entry employ stringent containment procedures to minimise the importation of Covid-19. We are currently on high alert to screen passengers and test those who require further assessment,” he concluded.