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Covid: South Africa variant now ‘dominant’ in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe says the coronavirus variant first discovered in neighbouring South Africa now makes up more than 60% of cases within its borders.

It is the first country outside of South Africa to report that the so-called “501.YV2” variant is the dominant strain.

Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, and the Gambia have also found some cases.

The announcement by Zimbabwe’s government comes a day after a national lockdown was extended by two weeks.

Monday saw the delivery of 200,000 Sinopharm vaccines doses donated by China, with rollout set to begin on Thursday.

Little data has been produced so far to prove how well China’s vaccines combat the coronavirus variant first found in South Africa.

As reported by Reuters news agency this month, a small-scale study by Sinopharm researchers found that its efficacy against this variant was weaker than against the original virus.

Zimbabwe is expected to receive another 600,000 doses in March.

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