A case of the South African coronavirus variant, which is thought to be more infectious, has been found in Belgium for the first time on Wednesday, according to virologist Marc Van Ranst.
It concerned a patient from West-Flanders who has died, according to the Belga news agency.
Van Ranst said on Twitter that the patient had no known history of travelling abroad.
Voor de eerste keer werd in België een staal met de Zuid-Afrikaanse COVID-19 variant (B.1.351) gevonden bij een patiënt uit West-Vlaanderen (zonder een reisgeschiedenis).@maespiet pic.twitter.com/cNQoN7DtbX— Marc Van Ranst (@vanranstmarc) January 13, 2021
Additionally, eight new cases of the UK variant were also detected in Belgium on Wednesday, he said in a separate tweet.
Microbiologist and former Sciensano spokesperson Emmanuel André confirmed in a tweet that "nine new more contagious variants were detected in Belgium on Wednesday."
"For the first time, we found a variant B.1.351 ("South African") in a person who had not travelled," he added. "This is therefore a second type of variant circulating in Belgium."
The eight other variants identified on Wednesday are B1.1.7 variants, according to André, which have been detected by the laboratories of the KUL (6), ULiège (1) and UGent (1).
The Brussels Times