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Four cases of Indian Covid-19 variant confirmed in SA

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The Health Department has confirmed that four cases of the coronavirus variant in India had been recorded in South Africa.

Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday evening that two cases had been detected in Gauteng and two in KwaZulu-Natal and all had a history of recent arrivals from India.

He said eleven cases of another variant, first detected in the United Kingdom, had also been found, and that community transmission of that variant had "already set in".

The Minister said in a statement the Network for Genomic Surveillance in SA (NGS-SA) confirmed on Saturday that two variants of concern, other than the B.1.351 already dominating in South Africa, had been detected.

These are B.1.1.7 (first detected in the UK) - 11 cases and B.1.617.2 (first detected in India)- 4 cases.

India is in an uphill battle against the coronavirus widely attributed to the local variant, which has now been found in more than a dozen countries worldwide.