France detects 1st case of South African virus variant

Paris, France

The French Ministry of Health on Thursday confirmed the first case of the new variant of coronavirus found in South Africa.

The new strain was identified in a French national returning from a recent stay in South Africa. He is currently isolated and is recovering well.

The man living in the Haut-Rhin department near the Swiss border, on his return, had taken the RT-PCR test following symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, the ministry said in a statement. The test carried out in Switzerland was positive and was reported by the Swiss health authorities to their counterparts in France.

The National Reference Center for Emerging Viral Infections (CRIVE Switzerland) and the National Reference Center for Respiratory Infections Viruses (CNR France) have confirmed the sequencing of the sample to be tested with the 501 V2 variant.

Her contact tracing did not find anyone at risk.

On December 25, France had detected the new variant of COVID-19 circulating in the United Kingdom, in a man in the city of Tours returning from London.

Reports of new cases had prompted authorities to set up a system to detect and track cases of infection or variant passengers returning from the UK and South Africa, in order to extend their limit in France. .

The Department of Health has made it compulsory to present a negative test carried out less than 72 hours before for anyone returning to France from the United Kingdom and South Africa.

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