SA records 2,191 new COVID cases, health dept confirms variants from India, UK

The health department has confirmed in a late-night statement on Saturday, that the country has 11 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant discovered in the UK, and four cases of the B.1.617.2 variant found in India.

FILE: South Africa has so far recorded over 1,594,000 cases of the virus since its outbreak last year in March. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa has detected two variants found in India and the United Kingdom (UK) on home soil among 15 patients.

The health department has confirmed in a late-night statement on Saturday, that the country has 11 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant discovered in the UK, and four cases of the B.1.617.2 variant found in India.

It's understood two patients, who tested positive in Gauteng recently travelled from India, and two others who are in KwaZulu-Natal also landed from the south Asian country.

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Gauteng has reported two cases of patients with the variant from the UK, eight cases were recorded in the Western Cape, and one has been identified in KwaZulu-Natal.

The health department has said one patient who recently travelled from Bangladesh has tested positive with the variant which was first discovered here in South Africa.

The UK B.1.1.7 variant has been detected in community samples suggesting that community transmission has already set in here at home.

India has been reporting more than 300,000 cases of COVID-19 daily, with concerns being raised about the toll this was taking on its health care system.

Meanwhile, the UK government has warned that there could be a "roll back" of some lockdowns if any new variants proved resistant to vaccines.

South Africa has so far recorded over 1,594,000 cases of the virus since its outbreak last year in March – as its citizens await the official rollout of jabs from later this month.

At the same time, 37 more people have died here at home- after contracting the coronavirus, which took the country’s known death toll to 54,724.

The health department said 2,191 infections were also picked up over the past 24-hour cycle.

The recovery has held steady at 95% t with over 1.5 million people having recuperated so far.

On the vaccine front, just over 382,000 healthcare workers have now received their COVID-19 jab.

FREE STATE’S COVID CASES RISING AT AN ALARMING RATE

The Free State government on Saturday said the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the province is continuing to rise at an alarming rate.

With more than 1,000 cases reported in 72 hours.

Just a few weeks ago, the national government warned of yet another spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the Free State, North West and the Northern Cape.

Health Department spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said it appeared that residents are ignoring health and safety protocols: “Do not participate in events and activities or social gatherings or congregate settings that compromise nonpharmaceutical interventions.”

At the same, concerns have been raised about Gauteng being the epicentre for the third wave.

WATCH: Professor Madhi - third wave expected to be less severe.

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