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Traveler from Malawi tests positive for new SA Covid-19 variant in Israel

A person who travelled from Malawi to Israel has tested positive for the Covid-19 variant first discovered in South Africa.

The traveller has tested positive in Israel and is that country’s first confirmed case of the dangerous Covid-19 variant.

“The person was vaccinated and recently travelled to Israel from Malawi,” Israel Army Radio reported.

Two other cases of returnees from abroad were also later identified as suspicious. 

In all three cases, the travelers were vaccinated. According to media reports, one traveler was inoculated with three doses of the Pfizer vaccine, one with two shots of AstraZeneca and the other with two shots of Johnson & Johnson.

Later, another individual who entered Israel from Jordan was also found suspicious of infection with the variant.

On Thursday, South Africa identified a concerning new coronavirus variant with mutations.

The discovery followed an increase in infections in South Africa’s economic hub surrounding Johannesburg. About 22 cases of the new variant have been recorded in South Africa so far, according to New York Times.

Britain has since banned travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Israel and Singapore have also issued bans against travellers from South Africa.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Malawi have warned people in the country to be on high alert for an impending fourth wave of Covid-19.

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