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UK Variant Is Most Common Strain in Tunisia

UK Variant Is Most Common Strain in Tunisia

Tuesday, 18 May, 2021 - 06:30
Health worker prepares for coronavirus vaccination in Tunisia ( FILE - Reuters)

The UK variant is the most common strain in Tunisia with a rate of over 90% compared to other strains, member of the Scientific Committee to Combat Coronavirus Hechmi Louzir said Sunday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony for receiving batches of the British AstraZeneca vaccine, Louzir revealed that other strains have undergone some mutations and those which emerged for the first time in the Chinese city of "Wuhan" in 2019 are ranked second in terms of spread rate in Tunisia.

According to Louzir, the sequencing to detect infection with the mutated South African strain has not taken place yet.

"Preliminary data show that the South African strain has not spread in Tunisia, particularly after the infection of one person from the governorate of Gafsa and of a sub-Saharan citizen who arrived in the governorate of Nabeul as part of a sporting event, who returned to his home country after recovering," he added.

Louzir further hailed the effectiveness of vaccination against mutations, saying it contributes to the reduction of virus-related deaths.

As Tunisia is exerting efforts to combat the spread of the virus and reduce the number of daily infections, Louzir confirmed that a decrease in the number of infections and deaths has been observed.

Last week, Tunisia received the third batch of 158,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, as part of the global COVAX initiative, after having received, through the same initiative, 98,400 doses of the same vaccine in April.

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