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Indian Covid-19 Variant Detected on African Continent

By Naadiya Adams Twitter: @Miss_Naadiya

Its been just a few days since Uganda confirmed a case of India’s covid-19 variant B.1.617, and now Kenya has also confirmed the variant has been found in patients in the city of Kisumu.

The ministry’s director-general, Dr Patrick Amoth says a virus cannot be prevented from spreading to various territories.

“This variant has been picked up in Kenya and because of global connectivity, it is just a question of time. You cannot be able to put barriers … to prevent a virus from accessing your territory,” said Dr Amoth.

Samples were taken from a group of Indian travelers who were in the African country for work purposes – the variant was detected from these samples.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the B.1.617 variant, which is believed to have originated in India, has now been reported in over a dozen countries.

This new variant is fierce and infections, as well as mortalities, have skyrocketed in India in recent weeks. CNN reported that crematoriums were being erected all over the country. A major concern is it may be contributing to a catastrophic 3rd wave that is set to rock nations once more. By Wednesday, on the sub-continent, more than 380,000 infections were reported as well as a shocking 3,780 deaths.

WHO has however not confirmed whether or not this virus strain is more deadly or evasive of the vaccine.

Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are taking measures to curb the variant spread and have all suspended flights to India.

India’s variant adds to the strains already found in Kenya, with the variants that were first detected in the UK and South Africa also found there.

Kenya has seen 161 400 cases of coronavirus of which 2 825 have been fatal, according to the latest government data. Uganda has reported about 42 100 cases and 343 deaths.

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