Saskatchewan’s death toll rises by 4; 2nd coronavirus variant detected

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The provincial government announced on Tuesday that Saskatchewan’s total of confirmed COVID-19 variant cases increased by three to six and another is presumptive.

Two more cases of B.1.1.7 — which was first discovered in the United Kingdom — have been detected among Regina zone residents, according to a press release. Officials said the two were tested at the end of January and there is no link to travel at this time but public health is investigating.

One person in north central was also tested at the end of January, which resulted in the province’s first case of B1.351, first discovered in South Africa, according to the release.

Read more: Researchers using waste water to track COVID-19 in Saskatoon, Indigenous communities

The government said there is a presumptive case of B1.1.7 in a person who was transferred from out-of-province to Saskatoon for acute care. They added whole-genome sequencing will need to be completed to confirm the results.

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“We were fully expecting to see variants of concern, both travel-related and non-travel related. We had seen three … and now we have seen a further three not linked to travel,” Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr…

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