Chiwenga Confirms Deadly Indian Covid-19 Variant Detected In Kwekwe

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By Anna Chibamu

VICE President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga has confirmed tests carried out by his ministry were of the deadly Indian variant that has been detected in Kwekwe.

“Genomic sequencing was carried out on samples collected from a reported focalised outbreak in Kwekwe which was linked to a traveller from India on the 29th of April, a high-risk Covid-19 transmission area,” he said in a statement Wednesday evening.

“The test conducted revealed that; the B.1.617 variant predominantly from the Republic of India was detected at the focalized outbreak in Kwekwe, the nation is therefore advised that this B.1.617 is now in Zimbabwe.

“The following travel advisory is therefore being issued, people travelling from or transiting from India will be subject to mandatory quarantine at a designated quarantine centre at the own cost.

“These travellers will be subjected to a Covid-19 test on arrival despite the status of their travelling certificate,” Chiwenga added.

Contact tracing done by the Kwekwe City health department revealed nine people in the city had tested positive to Covid-19, and the samples were sent to Harare to determine the variant type.

India has been recording over 200 000 infections per day while deaths are also rising. Several countries have banned travellers from India from entering their territories.