Argentina Confirms First Cases of Indian, South African COVID-19 Variants

The health ministry of Argentina confirmed on May 10 that the country has detected its first cases of the COVID-19 variants first identified in India and South Africa.

The health ministry said that it has detected the first cases of the variants from three travelers returning from Europe.

“Since we started genomic sequencing surveillance in travelers, we have identified so-called priority variants in almost 50% of positive cases, but this is the first time we have found” the Indian variants and the South African variant, National Director of Epidemiology and Strategic Information Analía Rearte said in a statement.

The Indian variants, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.1, were detected in two minors returning from Paris while the South African variant, B.1.351, was detected in a 58-year-old individual returning from Spain, according to the health ministry.

The three travelers returned to Argentina last April 24 and were quarantined in a hotel in Buenos Aires.

“Also, the samples are sent to be sequenced to the Malbrán laboratory,” Rearte stated.

According to data from the health ministry, Argentina has recorded 3,165,121 cases and 67,821 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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