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Author: Tan KW   |   Latest post: Sun, 23 Jan 2022, 4:38 PM

 

Belgium finds first new Covid-19 variant case in Europe

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RUSSELS: Belgium said Friday it has detected the first announced case in Europe of the new Covid-19 variant, in an unvaccinated person returning from abroad.
 
"We have a case that is now confirmed of this variant," B.1.1.529, first detected in southern Africa, Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told a media conference.
 
The infected person tested positive on November 22 and had not had Covid-19 before, he added, without giving further details.
 
A leading Belgian virologist, Marc Van Ranst, tweeted that the person had returned from Egypt on November 11. 
 
Vandebroucke said: "It must be repeated that this is a suspect variant – we don't know if it is a very dangerous variant."
 
He noted, however, that "as a precaution" Europe was stopping flights from southern Africa.
 
"So, total precaution but don't panic," he said, adding that Belgium's Covid-19 risk assessment group was analysing the situation.
 
 - AFP
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