Cyprus discovered a new “hybrid” variant between Delta and Omicron

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2022-01-12 05:01:05

The team, led by Dr Leondios Kostrikis, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Biotechnology at the University of Cyprus, is the author of the findings.

Sheet Cyprus Mail Kostrikis said that the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 shares the genetic background of the Delta variant with some mutations of Omicron, hence the name Deltacron.

The team discovered 25 samples taken in Cyprus, after sequencing 1,377 samples as part of a program to track possible mutations of SARS-CoV-2 in Cyprus.

According to the Cyprus Mail, 11 of the 25 samples were taken from hospitalized people, while 14 were taken from the community. Mr. Kostrikis said the frequency of detecting the Deltacron variant was higher among hospitalized people, which means there is a correlation between Deltacron and hospitalization rates.

People wait outside a vaccination center in Limassol, Cyprus. Photo: Reuters

Minister of Health Hadipantelas expressed pride for the country’s scientists for discovering a new variant.

Xinhua News Agency Citing the Cypriot Health Minister as saying: “We are proud of our scientists. The groundbreaking research and discovery by the team of Dr. Kostrikis helps put Cyprus on the international map of health problems.”

The field ministry Hadipantelas emphasized that the Deltacron variant is not cause for concern at the moment. The Cyprus Ministry of Health is expected to announce more information about the new variant in a press conference early next week.

The announcement of the new variant comes just a week after a new variant, called IHU, was discovered in France. Not much is known about IHU yet, but World Health Organization (WHO) officials are closely monitoring its spread. Experts say the IHU variant doesn’t seem too worrisome.

In the context of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant and the detection of the Deltacron variant, the authorities will strengthen Covid-19 prevention measures. Cyprus is experiencing its fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, causing the number of new infections to skyrocket to about 5,500 cases a day.

The Cypriot national surveillance report on Covid-19 released on January 7 showed that the average age of those infected was 28 years old, indicating the rapid spread of the virus among young people.


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