Rustenburg – South Africa has detected its first XBB.1.5 coronavirus variant case.
The most transmissible sub-variant was detected by researcher at the Stellenbosch University.
Director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, Tulio de Oliveira, said the variant was detected on a December 27 sample.
“At present, no increase in cases, hospitalisation or deaths. NGS-SA (Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA), is increasing genomics surveillance in South Africa.
“Our labs also support dozens of other African countries as part of Africa CDC PGI programme,” De Oliveira said on Twitter.
South Africa has so far recorded over four million Covid-19 infection cases, with 102 568 deaths and over three million recoveries, over 38 million vaccine doses have been administered.
On January 4, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it would continue to closely monitor the situation in the People’s Republic of China and globally and urged all countries to continue to be vigilant, to monitor and report sequences, as well as to conduct independent and comparative analyses of the different omicron sublineages, including on the severity of disease they cause.
"At this time, the TAG-VE [Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution] is also evaluating the rapidly increasing proportion of XBB.1.5 in the United States and other countries.," The WHO said.
In October last year, the world health body said the XBB variant has a global prevalence of 1.3 percent and it has been detected in 35 countries.