In South Africa, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reports sequencing COVID-19 specimens from individuals with a recent travel history to India.
The institute can confirm that four of the specimens tested positive for B.1.617.2 (two cases from Gauteng and two from KwaZulu-Natal). The B.1.617.2 variant is currently highlighted as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization and is one of the multiple variants circulating in India. All cases have been isolated and managed according to COVID-19 case management guidelines and contact tracing has been performed in order to limit the spread of this variant. As of Saturday, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1,594,817, including 54,724 deaths.