Cape Town – The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has confirmed that a new Covid-19 variant, B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa.
The new variant has already been identified in twenty-two people in the country, the NICD said in a statement.
“The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, confirms that through collaborative efforts with private laboratories and the NGS-SA members, a new Covidt-19 variant, B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa.
“Twenty-two positive cases of variant B.1.1.529 have been recorded in the country following genomic sequencing collaborations between the NICD and private laboratories. In addition, other NGS-SA laboratories are confirming more cases as sequencing results come out,” read the statement.
BREAKING NEWS: We confirm that through collaborative efforts with private laboratories and the NGS-SA members, a new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa. Read more here https://t.co/0ht7nmMkJg
— NICD (@nicd_sa) November 25, 2021
The NICD said experts were working overtime with all the established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be.
“Developments are occurring at a rapid pace and the public has our assurance that we will keep them up to date,” NICD said.
It urged citizens to remain vigilant and adhere to Covid-19 regulations, particularly at this time when positive cases remained on the rise in Gauteng, North West, and Limpopo.
“This means that individuals should get vaccinated, wear masks, practice healthy hand hygiene, maintain social distancing, and gather in well ventilated spaces,” said NICD.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo