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A first case of contamination with the variant of the Covid-19 virus identified in South Africa has been detected in France, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday, a few days after the first confirmed case of the British variant.
The variant of the coronavirus discovered in South Africa was detected for the first time in France, announced Thursday, December 31, the Ministry of Health.
This variant, which like that of the United Kingdom could be more transmissible, was confirmed on Wednesday in a man returning from South Africa residing in the Haut-Rhin, near the Swiss border. On his return from his trip, the man who had developed symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 performed an RT-PCR test in Switzerland.
The test having been positive, a sequencing of the virus was carried out, confirming the variant called “501.V2”, identified in South Africa in October and which is responsible in this country for a large majority of new cases. The person, now cured, “immediately isolated himself at his home as soon as the symptoms appeared” and “no risky contact was identified”, assured the ministry.
A first case of the variant identified in the United Kingdom in December had been confirmed in France on December 25, in Tours, on a Frenchman who had arrived from London a few days earlier.
For the two variants, which could be more transmissible but not intrinsically more dangerous, the health authorities “are mobilized to identify as early as possible each infected patient to isolate them, isolate their contacts and test them, and thus prevent the spread of variants of Sars-CoV-2 on the national territory “, assured the ministry.
For each person returning from the United Kingdom or South Africa who would test positive for Covid-19, the samples must be sequenced to confirm the presence or not of a variant of the virus.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) this week warned of a “high” risk that these variants are a source of additional pressure on health systems and a cause of higher mortality due to their greater contagiousness.