New Delhi: A day after scientists reported a new, more transmissible Covid-19 variant in South Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) today said the mutant in question was not rising at the moment and the Delta variant of concern continued to be dominant.
Maria Van Kerkhove, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Covid-19 technical lead at WHO Health Emergencies Programme, today said, “To date there are 100 sequences of C.1.2 reported globally. The earliest reports are from May 2021 from South Africa. At this time, C.1.2 does not appear to be rising in circulation, but we need more sequencing to be conducted and shared globally. Delta appears dominant from available sequences.”
The WHO also said that if it characterised C.1.2 of any other variant as a variant of interest or concern, the same would be widely shared.
“We are monitoring dozens of variants for potential transmissibility at the moment,” said Kerkhove.
She said the more the virus spreads the more opportunity it has to change.
“We have the tools to prevent infections, reduce the spread and save lives. The WHO has been regularly discussing with South African researchers about their work on sequencing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We are grateful for researchers in South Africa who first presented their findings on variant C.1.2 to the WHO Virus Evolution Working Group in July 2021,” she said, seeking to downplay any fresh anxieties on the front of C.1.2.
The C.1.2 reported recently is feared to evade vaccine induced protections.