Severity of new COVID-19 variant unknown

File: Face masks. AFP/Thomas Kienzle

JOHANNESBURG - The first case of the XBB.1.5 COVID-19 variant has been identified in South Africa.

The mutation has been nicknamed 'The Kraken' due to its high transmissibility.

But, the severity of the variant is not yet known.

The Health Department is meeting with scientists to gather more information.

In the meantime, it's urging people to vaccinate, get boosters, wear masks, keep social distances, avoid overcrowded places and wash hands regularly.


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