The World Health Organization (WHO) is studying the transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Lambda variant, WHO) Representative to Russia Melita Vujnovic said on Wednesday.
"The Lambda strain, which was first spotted last August in South America, is under scrutiny to see whether it is being displaced by other strains, and whether it has any characteristics of bigger transmissibility. The most important thing now is to halt the virus transmission, the more so as any transmission from human to human gives the virus a possibility to mutate," she said in an interview with the Vesti daily news roundup on the Rossiya-1 television channel, TASS reports.
According to Vujnovic, the Delta variant is of concern too.
The Lambda strain was first reported from Peru in late summer 2020. It accounted for the bulk of cases in Peru and about a third of new cases in Argentina and Chile before the Delta strain emerged. Its genome has a set of eight key mutations that presumably increase its transmissibility.
According to the latest statistics, around 199.6 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 4.2 million deaths have been reported.
To date, 6,356,784 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 5,679,842 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 161,715 fatalities nationwide. The Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation