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Health

Luanda has South African and English variants of the coronavirus in community circulation

The Angolan health authorities informed that the province of Luanda already has community circulation of the South African and English variants of the new coronavirus, with 120 and 14 positive cases, respectively.

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The information was released by the director of the National Institute for Health Research, in the presentation of the situation of covid-19 in the last 24 hours in the country.

According to Joana Morais, since the end of December 2020, the appearance of four new variants of SARS-CoV-2 has been announced, namely that of English, South African and two Brazilian origin.

The official added that these variants are considered of high concern, taking into account that they are associated with an increase in the number of cases and hospital admissions, which are due to a greater transmissibility and virulence of the virus, as well as more serious cases and difficult to recover.

"We must also note that these variants were identified in young adults and children, which we did not previously observe", stressed Joana Morais.

In February of this year, the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the National Institute for Health Research, in collaboration with the Crispy laboratory, in South Africa, began the genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to study and identify whether these variants circulated in Angola.

"We can inform you that, to date, 298 positive samples have been sequenced to covid-19 and the results obtained have identified 120 positive cases for the South African variant and 14 positive cases for the English variant, both already with community circulation in the province of Luanda ", said the health official.

In turn, the national director of Public Health, Helga Freitas, said that the country has already vaccinated, a month past the arrival of vaccines from AstraZeneca, a total of 245,442 people from risk groups in five provinces of the country.

Among those vaccinated, 153,270 are from Luanda province, 38,890 from Benguela, 20,801 from Huambo, 17,564 from Huíla and 14,897 from Cabinda, 59 percent of whom are male and 41 percent are female.

Helga Freitas added that in the risk group, 53,211 health workers, 42,862 teachers, 30,308 elderly people with associated comorbidities, 28,381 police officers, 25,103 military personnel have been vaccinated, among other groups that are being protected with the first dose of the vaccine against covid- 19.

For the approximately 170,000 people in risk groups in the 13 provinces that have not yet been vaccinated, the official said that they were sent by air on Thursday and Friday, with the support of the National Air Force, vaccines and vaccination supplies in the provinces. from Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Moxico, Namibe, Cuando Cubango, Cunene, taking to Bengo, Zaire, Cuanza Norte, Uíje, Malanje, Bié and Cuanza Sul followed by land.

"To ensure all technical support at this level in the provinces, 58 technicians from the national were also displaced, as well as support from partners of WHO [World Health Organization], Unicef ​​[United Nations Children's Fund] and Gavi" , stressed.

The start of vaccination in these provinces is scheduled for this Monday, with the active participation of the provincial governments.

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