New Delhi (NVI): The government of South Africa has rejected the claims made by the United Kingdom’s that the new coronavirus variant found in the African nation is more dangerous than the one found in Britain.
According to the media reports, the African country’s Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize dismissed the claims of UK health secretary Matt Hancock suggesting the new COVID-19 strain discovered in South Africa is more dangerous than the one in the England.
“At present, there is no evidence that the 501.V2 is more transmissible than the United Kingdom variant- as suggested by British Health Secretary,” Mkhize in a statement said.
“There is also no evidence that the 501.V2 causes more severe disease or in-creased mortality than the UK variant or any variant that has been sequenced around the world,” he was quoted saying in a statement.
Notably, the South African government has named the new variant of the SARS-COV-2 Virus as 501.
Mkhize made these statements a day after, the UK Health Secretary while announcing restrictions on travel from South Africa, stated that the new coronavirus variant appears to be more dangerous and it is highly concerning because it is more transmissible than the one in the UK.
However, he has denied any such claims and said Hancock’s statements have created a perception that the variant in SA has been a major factor in the second wave in the UK, which he said is not true.
Mkhize further pointed out that there is enough evidence to suggest that the UK variant developed earlier than the South African variant, adding that the UK government reported about the new variant to the WHO on December 14 and traced it back to September, a month before the South African variant appears to have developed.
Meanwhile, South Africa is the country hit hardest by coronavirus on the continent, with close to one million infections so far and 26,000 people dead.