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African health authorities plan to hold talks with their South African counterparts next week about a new coronavirus variant that has been found in the country.

Data on the new variant is currently being analysed and more information will be released after the meeting, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director John Nkengasong said in a virtual briefing on Thursday.

A new Covid-19 variant with a large number of mutations has emerged, with cases reported in Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong, the Independent reported earlier. The B.1.1529, or so-called Botswana variant, is an offshoot of another variant called B.1.1., the London-based newspaper said.

Nkengasong declined to comment when asked whether the Botswana variant was the one officials plan to discuss.

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