COVID-19 cases in SA rise to 930 711

Johannesburg – As South Africa continues to battle the second wave of Covid-19 that the country faces, the department of health has announced that there was 8789 new cases in South Africa reported in the last 24 hours.

This now takes the culminative number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 930 711.

The department also said that there have been 216 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the death toll to SA to 24 907.

Also read: SA’s rich and poor left at the mercy of coronavirus

SA identifies COVID-19 variant

South African genomic scientists have identified a variant of the SARS-COV-2 virus, currently termed 501.V2 variant.

“This genomics team, led by the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), has sequenced hundreds of samples from across the country since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

“They noticed that a particular variant has increasingly dominated the findings of the samples collected in the past two months,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, on Friday.

In addition to the 501.V2 variant, Mkhize said clinicians have been providing anecdotal evidence of a shift in the clinical epidemiological picture, in particular noting that they are seeing a larger proportion of younger patients with no comorbidities, presenting with critical illness.

“The evidence that has been collated, therefore, strongly suggests that the current second wave we are experiencing is being driven by this new variant,” said the Minister.

Read more: SA identifies COVID-19 variant

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