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'UKZN team conduct tests after man who entered SA from India contracts Covid-19'

4 May 2021 6:38 PM
Tags:
nicd
B.1.617 variant
India Covid-19 crisis
Traveller from India
variant dominant in India

The B.1.617 variant has not been detected in South Africa at this stage but authorities will prioritise testing Covid-19 positive samples from travellers entering SA from India.

Scientists from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) are testing samples from the Covid-19 positive patient who travelled from India to South Africa.

The patient is being treated at a hospital in Durban and contact tracing teams are working to track down all of his close contacts.

Health journalist Laura López González reports that a genomics team from UKZN is conducting sequencing on a sample from the patient to establish whether or not he is infected with the variant that's circulating in India.

González warns that some misinformation has been circulating in the KZN province.

While South Africa intensifies genomic surveillance for variants of concern, she says travellers from India have been banned from entering the US, Australia, Canada, and the UAE.

The Health Department says it is consulting the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on how to deal with travellers from countries with variants of concern.

González says there is still a great deal of debate about the effectiveness of travel bans in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

RELATED: 'I don’t know anybody in India who hasn’t lost a close family member'

As of now, the variant that is dominant in India has not been detected in South Africa.

Laura López González, Health journalist

Scientists from UKZN are busy sequencing one sample from a traveler from India but have not yet completed the analysis.

Laura López González, Health journalist

So far in this pandemic, we haven't really had a clear answer about whether or not travel bans work to prevent outbreaks and disease.

Laura López González, Health journalist

Listen to Laura López González in conversation with Africa Melane:




4 May 2021 6:38 PM
Tags:
nicd
B.1.617 variant
India Covid-19 crisis
Traveller from India
variant dominant in India

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