During the weekend, the existence of a supposed new variant of COVID-19 called Deltracron. Leondios Kostrikis, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, was the one who made the unexpected announcement, noting that this mutation would share characteristics of the delta and omicron variants. However, some scientific institutions have indicated that this discovery would be the product of a laboratory error.
“Coinfections of omicron and delta have been recorded. We have found a variant that is the combination of both“, he pointed Kostrikis during an interview with Sigma TV. In fact, the discovery about the virus was named “deltacron” after the alleged identification of genetic traces of the omicron variant with delta-specific genomes, Kostrikis noted.
Although the scientific community has been analyzing the data of this finding, it is believed unlikely that there is a genetic combination of the variants as the scientist had stated. “The sequences of the Cypriot ‘deltacron’ reported by various major media outlets appear to be clearly contamination”said Tom Peacock, a virologist from the department of infectious diseases at Imperial College London.
For his part, Jeffrey Barrett, director of the COVID-19 Genomic Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Great Britain, said that the alleged mutations could be part of the genome that is vulnerable to errors in certain sequencing procedures. “I am sure it is not a biological recombinant of the delta and omicron lineages”He added.
According to a publication by Bloomberg, the doctor Kostriskis and his team had identified 25 cases whose statistical analysis reveals that the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalized for COVID-19 compared to those who have not visited a health center.
“We will see in the future if this variant is more pathological and contagious or if it will prevail over the delta and omicron variants.“, he pointed Kostriskis, who also stressed that from his point of view, deltacron could be overshadowed by the omicron variant due to the high contagion caused by the latter.
Given the information released, Kostrikis reaffirmed the aforementioned and assured that the cases identified “”indicate evolutionary pressure for an ancestral strain to acquire these mutations and not the result of a single recombination event”.
When the news of the supposed new variant was released, Cyprus Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said he was proud that the discovery was made by his compatriots; however, it did not provide further details on the most recent findings.
OMICRON IN PERU
The variant that has been confirmed and whose presence in our country has raised all the alarms is the omicron. In fact, 82% of the cases of covid-19 registered in Metropolitan Lima correspond to the omicron variant, reported the Vice Minister of Benefits and Health Insurance of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), Augusto Tarazona.
So far there are 14 regions where this new variant has been identified and seven districts of metropolitan Lima are on red alert because they have exceeded the number of cases of the second wave of the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) does not rule out that in 21 days the cases of covid-19 reach 150,000 infections per week. During the second wave, the highest peak of contagion per week was 60,000 cases. Due to the high contagion of omicron, that figure would be exceeded. The authorities constantly repeat the importance of the use of a mask, respect for social distance, constant hand washing and, especially, the inoculation of three doses of the vaccine.