Cuba detects imported case of South African coronavirus varian

HAVANA, Jan. 22   Cuban health authorities said on Friday they had detected an imported case of a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.

The authorities cannot affirm whether the variant “has been introduced or extended to community transmission of the virus in the country, but we cannot rule it out either, due to the high number of cases that are being registered daily,” said Guadalupe Guzman, a researcher at the Pedro Kuori Institute of Tropical Medicine, at a health ministry press conference.

The ministry reported 530 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the national count to 20,060.

In addition, four more Cubans died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing January’s death toll to 42, the highest monthly figure since April 2020, when 57 deaths were registered in one month.