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Highly Infectious South African COVID-19 Strain Discovered In Malta

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A more infectious strain of the COVID-19 virus from South Africa has made its way to Malta, with one known positive case so far.

Speaking at a press conference today, Health Minister Chris Fearne confirmed that the South African variant has been detected in Malta from a process of gene sequencing testing.

According to health authorities, only one case of the South African variant has been detected so far.

The South African mutation of COVID-19 has been found to be more contagious than previous strains. There is no evidence to suggest that it causes more serious illness amongst people who become infected.

However, in South Africa, the government halted distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine after it was found to be “disappointing” against the variant and only offering “minimal protection” to patients.

Malta is currently distributing AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, with the latter two yielding results that indicate they are effective against the variant.

Fearne also confirmed that the number of cases infected with the UK variant of COVID-19 has shot up to 49.

Malta currently has 2,316 active COVID-19 cases.

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