Cape Town – The South African Department of Health has urged people to vaccinate and avoid crowded places after the country recorded its first case of the most transmissible Covid-19 variant.
The department said it was alerted about this highly transmissible XBB.1.5 variant and is in discussion with scientists to gather more information, including its transmissibility and severity.
“In the meantime, @HealthZA is appealing to everyone to #vaccinate, get boosters, wear your masks, keep the distance, avoid overcrowded places and wash your hands #COVID19,” the department said in a tweet.
The department said an official communication would be made in due course.
.@HealthZA has been alerted about this highly transmissable XBB.1.5 variant and is currently in discussions with the scientists to gather more information including its transmissibility and severity. Thus, an official communication will be made in due course. #COVID19
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) January 7, 2023
According to Tulio de Oliveira, Director of Centre for Epidemic Response and innovation at Stellenbosch University and KZN Research Innovation & Sequencing Platform, the case was detected by Stellenbosch University, Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) on Friday.
He shared the news in a string of tweets, adding that at present there was no increase in cases, hospitalisation or deaths. NGS-SA increasing genomics surveillance in South Africa.
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe