New South Africa variant not yet a threat - minister
Health Minister, Mr Phaahla did say that the country was expecting a fourth wave of coronavirus infections towards the end of the year.
A recent coronavirus variant found in South Africa is not at this stage a threat, Reuters news agency quotes the health minister as saying.
The variant, known as C.1.2, was first identified in May and has been detected across South Africa.
Earlier this week, the National Institute for Communicable diseases said “new variant might be able to partially evade the immune response [but] vaccines will still offer high levels of protection against hospitalisation and death”.
The World Health Organization said it needed further monitoring.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla is quoted as saying: “At this stage they [scientists] have assured us it's not really a threat, they are just watching it."
Mr Phaahla did say that the country was expecting a fourth wave of coronavirus infections towards the end of the year.
More than 82,000 people in South Africa have died from coronavirus - the highest death toll on the continent.