Cases confirmed in other countries
THE new double mutant B.1.617 variant, first discovered in India, has spread to other countries, including:
¡ South Africa: Dr Zweli Mkhize, Health Minister, confirmed on Saturday that the Indian variant had been detected in four people; two in KwaZulu-Natal and two in Gauteng. The individuals had a history of recent arrivals from India.
¡ Kenya: According to a statement by the Kenyan Health Ministry, the first case of the Indian variant was confirmed last week. The case was detected from samples taken from Indian travellers working in Kisuma, a city in Kenya. Dr Patrick Amoth, the Health Ministry's director-general, said it had just been a question of time before the variant reached them because of global connectivity. The country has suspended flights to India.
¡ Uganda: Pontiano Kaleebu, head of the government-run Uganda Virus Research Institute, confirmed that a Ugandan apparently picked up the variant during a recent visit to India. Authorities have banned flights from India and all travellers arriving from the country are required to undergo mandatory quarantine. Though Rwanda and Tanzania have yet to have a confirmed case, they have also banned flights to India.
¡ Europe: The variant has reached several countries in Europe. In the UK, health authorities reported at least 193 cases, Germany more than 20, Romania one, Switzerland one and Belgium more than 20. | AlJazeera.com
¡ Singapore: The country has recorded more than 10 cases. The country's health ministry said some of the cases were found to have been locally transmitted.
¡ Australia: Health officials confirmed that a husband and wife have tested positive. The news came as the country lifted its travel ban from India, where about 9 000 Australians were left stranded. | Reuters
¡ France: Health Ministry confirmed this week that about 20 people had tested positive.