Outbreak of South African Covid strain; 18 infections in Gorinchem
An outbreak of the B.1.351 coronavirus strain, first identified in South Africa, was confirmed at a physiotherapy practice in Gorinchem. At least 18 employees and clients of the practice tested positive for the coronavirus, and the B.1.351 strain was found in a number of test samples, GGD Zuid-Holland Zuid announced on Tuesday.
As far as is known, this is the first outbreak of the South African strain in the Netherlands. The GGD is doing an "extensive and targeted" investigation at the practice to determine whether more people contracted this strain of the virus. The practice is currently closed and all patients and employees were informed of the outbreak.
Like the B117 strain first identified in the United Kingdom, the B.1.351 strain seems to be more contagious and spreads faster than the original virus. In its weekly Covid-19 figures on Tuesday, public health institute RIVM reported that this strain had been identified in the Netherlands 14 times. Whether the outbreak in Gorinchem formed part of that number, is not clear.