South Africa variant now ‘dominant’ in Zimbabwe: now accounts for 60 % of cases

Zimbabwe says the coronavirus variant first discovered in neighbouring South Africa now makes up more than 60% of cases within its borders.It is the first country outside of South Africa to report that the so-called “501.YV2” variant is the dominant strain.

Cabinet wishes to inform that results of the genomic sequencing which was recently conducted indicate that the new South African Covid19 variant is dominating by 61%. The variant we were dealing with in 2020 has receded.

— Nick Mangwana (@nickmangwana) February 16, 2021

Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and the Gambia have also found some cases.The announcement by Zimbabwe’s government comes a day after a national lockdown was extended by two weeks.Monday saw the delivery of 200,000 Sinopharm vaccines doses donated by China, with rollout set to begin on Thursday.

The BBC’s Shingai Nyoka in Harare says coronavirus cases are on the decline, but Zimbabwe’s 4% fatality rate has the authorities worried.

Since the pandemic began, Zimbabwe has recorded more than 35,000 coronavirus cases, including 1,410 deaths. ONLINE

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