Source: Metro News

Panama confirms first case of South African Covid-19 variant

Ministry of Health officials in Panama has announced the country has recorded its first positive case of the South African mutant strain of coronavirus known as ‘501Y.V2’.

“This is a 40-year-old passenger, born in Zimbabwe, who entered the country on January 5 from South Africa and had previously made a stop over in the Netherlands before arriving in Panama,” the statement said.

After testing positive, the patient was kept in isolation, complying with Panama’s protocol, according to the Ministry of Health. Panama has recorded at least 4,944 deaths related to Covid-19 and about 305,752 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Health authorities are assuring citizens the new mutant would be controlled even as new research disclosed the ‘501Y.V2’ would still be able to infect human cells that have already been vaccinated as the strain can escape “neutralization” by antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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