Botswana’s Deputy Coordinator for the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19, Mosepele Mosepele, said the country has recorded its first case of the highly mutated C.1.2 COVID-19 variant

He said one patient was found with the variant, adding it was difficult to know if it had already spread or was just an isolated case.

According to the World Health Organization, the new variant, first detected in South Africa, contains mutations that have been identified in all four variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma) as well as three variants of interest (Kappa, Eta and Lambda).

Mosepele said Botswana is the ninth country in the world to confirm the variant and the only other in the region apart from South Africa.

Meanwhile, new infections and deaths are falling as Botswana emerges from its deadliest COVID-19 wave ever in July since the start of the pandemic.

Botswana has so far recorded 156,927 positive cases with 2,261 related deaths. To date, 320,308 people have received one vaccine dose and 207,695 are fully vaccinated.

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