RWANDA. Kigali: Rwanda has detected 12 cases of South African and UK COVID-19 variants, the health minister Daniel Ngamije said on March 21.
He announced through a television address that cases were found among international visitors recently entering Rwanda.
“Two cases were confirmed with the UK variant, while 10 others tested positive for the South African strain,” he said.
“To date there is no confirmation if the variants are spreading in local community… the travelers have been isolated to contain the spread.”
Ngamije said that the 12 patients had fully recovered and had not infected others as they were isolated. The health minister added that health officials are still monitoring the situation.
The reason behind virus mutation
There are currently three new variants of COVID-19, one detected in the United Kingdom, one in South Africa and another one in Brazil.
The variants appear to spread more easily and quickly among people. The new variants have caused a surge in the COVID-19 infections. There are also concerns as to if current vaccines will be effective against the new variants or not. However, scientists have said that the current vaccines should still work against them.
Viruses naturally mutate over time and as they spread they make copies of themselves and are a little different from the one before.
Rwanda has so far confirmed 20,828 cases and 290 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 334,000 people in Rwanda have been vaccinated against the disease.