WHO commends SA scientists for 501.V2 variant detection

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended South African scientists for their research that led to the detection of the 501.V2 variant of the coronavirus.

The United Nations health agency’s Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, Dr Maria van Kerkhove, says South Africa has enough experience, knowledge and capacity to handle a third wave of coronavirus pandemic.

“One of the things I am most impressed with within South Africa is the ability to get through that first peak, the first wave the second wave, the country knows what to do in terms of detection. The sequencing capacity across South Africa has increased dramatically over the course of this pandemic.”

“The scientists across the country who are sequencing using intelligence sequencing of samples around the country supporting other countries on the continent for sequencing,” explains Van Kerkhove.

WHO officials say SA has enough experience and capacity to handle COVID-19 third wave:

The WHO has called on South Africa to use its medical expertise to control the third wave of coronavirus infections.

SA records 3 141 new coronavirus infections

Meanwhile, South Africa has recorded 3 141 new coronavirus infections in the last 24-hour cycle, taking the total number to 1 608 393.

The country has also recorded 112 new COVID-19 related fatalities on Friday. This brings the total number of deaths to 55 124.

In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says most of the new deaths were recorded in the Free State.

“Regrettably, we report 112  more COVID-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 1, Free State 42, Gauteng 14, Kwa-Zulu Natal 5, Limpopo 0, Mpumalanga 0, North West 40, Northern Cape 0 and Western Cape 10,” says Dr Mkhize.