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India Covid variant spreads to Nigeria, more African nations

Three more African countries – Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria – have now detected the Indian variant of coronavirus, Dr Ngoy Nsenga, from the World Health Organization (WHO), has told the BBC.

The confirmation brings to seven the number of African nations that have confirmed the B.1.617 mutation, which initial studies show spreads more easily than other variants.

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Dr Nsenga, who co-ordinates the WHO’s Covid-19 response in Africa, said he had no further details on the number of cases or travel history of the people who tested positive in Algeria, DR Congo and Nigeria.

Four African countries have already confirmed the presence of the B.1.617 variant all linked with recent travel to India.

They are: Kenya, five cases; Morocco, two cases; South African, four cases; and Uganda, one case.

The WHO has recently classified the Indian mutation, which was detected in October 2020, as a “variant of global concern”.

It is being studied to establish whether it is responsible for a deadly surge in India, which is currently overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums. (BBC)

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