Internacionales

What you need to know about the new Covid-19 Delta Plus variant AY.4.2

Suárez se quedó con las ganas

Australia and Japan have reported only one case each as at Tuesday (Oct 19), Newsweek reported. The US has reported seven such infections, and Canada six

SINGAPORE – Britain has been seeing a growing number of cases. Just how much of a threat is the Delta Plus variant?

What is AY.4.2, also known as the Delta Plus variant? Put simply, it is a mutation of the Covid-19 Delta variant. It is a combination of the AY.4 Delta variant plus the S:Y145H spike mutation.

How big of a threat is it? Currently, experts are saying that there is no indication that the new variant is more infectious or more dangerous than the Delta, but tests are ongoing, the BBC reported.

It has not, as of yet, been classified by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern, or a variant under investigation. These categories are assigned based on risk level.

Where can this variant be found? More than 6 per cent of all cases so far have been reported in Britain.

Newsweek reported that data from the GISAID virus reporting database and collected and displayed by Outbreak.Info showed cases have been reported in the United States, Canada, Australia and parts of Western Europe.

Australia and Japan have reported only one case each as at Tuesday (Oct 19), Newsweek reported. The US has reported seven such infections, and Canada six.

What do the experts say about the variant? The AY.4.2 has yet to be observed driving any recent increase in case numbers in Britain, according to University College London’s professor of computational systems biology Francois Balloux.

“As AY.4.2 is still at fairly low frequency, a 10 per cent increase in its transmissibility could have caused only a small number of additional cases,” he said. “This is not a situation comparable to the emergence of Alpha and Delta that were far more transmissible (50 per cent or more) than any strain in circulation at the time.”

More on this topic   Related Story Britain monitoring ‘subvariant’ of coronavirus Delta strain   Related Story Global Covid-19 deaths hit 5 million as Delta variant sweeps the world: Reuters tally   Related Stories:  Related Story Singapore’s Covid-19 measures to be extended till Nov 21, to be reviewed at 2-week mark Related Story The good and the bad in S’pore‘s fight against Covid-19: Ong Ye Kung Related Story All healthcare workers in S’pore allowed to apply for overseas leave Related Story What is known about Covid-19 deaths in S’pore among adults under 60 Related Story Lack of Covid-19 vaccination passport, testing threaten Japan‘s reopening Related Story What scientists know about the risk of breakthrough Covid-19 deaths Related Story What the future holds for the coronavirus and us Related Story Once Covid-19-free, New Zealand prepares for 5,000 cases a week Related Story Why some nations have deadlier outbreaks with the same Covid-19 vaccines Related Story South Korea to ease curbs on social gatherings before switch to ‘living with Covid-19‘ Join ST’s Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.