South African Covid variant discovered in Switzerland
- The Swiss government confirmed that it found South Africa's new Covid-19 variant, which believed to be more transmissible, in two samples.
- One of the people who tested positive for the new variant, is currently in France.
- Unlike the UK, Switzerland has not instituted a travel ban on SA in response.
- For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
The Swiss government has confirmed that its scientists found South Africa's new Covid-19 variant in two samples.
The new variant - called 501.V2 - is believed to be more transmissible. It has between 10 and 20 new mutations, with higher viral loads than the original virus.
Samples from two people tested positive for South Africa's variant, the government said in a statement on Sunday.
One of the people lives in the canton of Schwyz, in central Switzerland, while the other person is currently in France. The Swiss government says it is contact with the French authorities.
It’s not clear whether the two people travelled from South Africa. While not adding to new travel restrictions from South Africa, the Swiss government confirmed that anyone entering the country from South Africa must go into quarantine for ten days. This restriction has been in place since 14 December.
On Thursday, the UK government placed an immediate travel ban on South Africa after discovering two samples containing the new variant.
All flights from South Africa have been banned, and South Africans won’t be allowed to enter England.
READ | England bans flights from South Africa, as well as SA visitors, from today due to new Covid variant
The Swiss government also confirmed two cases of the UK Covid variant in the past week.
Receive a daily news update on your cellphone. Or get the best of our site emailed to you
Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.