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The South African Minister of Health responds to his British colleague, who suggested that the new South African strain is more contagious

The South African Minister of Health, Zwelini Mkhize , defended, in response to his British counterpart , that there is no evidence that the new strain of coronavirus identified in South Africa is more dangerous or contagious than its British cousin.

“Currently, there is no evidence that 501.V2 is more contagious than the UK variant, as suggested by the UK Health Minister,” Zwelini Mkhize said in a statement released Thursday night.

“There is also no evidence that it causes a more serious form of the disease orincrease mortality, versus the UK variant or any of the mutations identified worldwide, “he added.

On Wednesday, British Health Minister Matt Hancock said that the new form of the virus from South Africa was “highly concerning, because it is more contagious and appears to have mutated more than that identified in the United Kingdom”, and announced travel restrictions between Both countries.

These statements “may have created the perception that the South African variant was a major factor in the second wave in the UK, which is not the case,” Zwelini Mkhize said in his Christmas statement.

The elements of the research show that the British mutation developed before the South African, he added.

The South African minister regretted the decision to ban travel between the UK and his country. “Nor there are elements that show that the South African strain is more pathogenic than the British strain ”, and this is what motivated this measure, he insisted.

South Africa, the most affected country on the continent with 26,000 deaths, documented more than 14,000 cases in the last two days, compared to an average of between AL 8,000 and 10,000 at the beginning of the week.

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