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Russia identifies two cases of South African COVID variant

Russia has identified two cases of the new variant of the coronavirus first detected in South Africa, its health regulator said in a statement on Tuesday. The variant was first identified in South Africa in December, where it now predominates. It has also been detected now in more than 40 countries, according to the World Health Organization. South African scientists say there is no clear evidence that the variant is associated with more severe disease or worse outcomes. However, it does appear to spread faster than previous iterations. Russia’s Rospotrebnadzor said it had conducted 8,159 tests for mutations of the coronavirus so far. It is collecting and testing samples from a range of different people, the regulator said, including those who have recently travelled abroad, as well as people who are suspected to have been infected with coronavirus for a second time.

AlJazeera - March 16, 2021

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