SCIENTISTS at the Asturias Central University Hospital have identified several Covid-19 cases with a new variant that is largely local to the region,
One case of the new strain has been detected in Madrid, and all other notified discoveries have come from South Africa.
The new variant has been caused by two recently identified variants known as BA.4 and BA.5.
Experts say the new strain is even more transmissible than the original Omicron variant and the variants that have arisen from it.
Asturias virologists are not ruling out that it is a ‘specific evolution of the coronavirus in Asturais’ which they call an ‘autochthonous’ variant as none of the carriers seem to have any kind of relationship or contact with carriers in South Africa.
Scientists have documented five definite cases of the new variant; six ‘probable’; and three ‘doubtful’
The plan to get the exact details and confirmations nailed down by the end of the week and to submit their results to international coronavirus databases.
A key reason for identifying new Covid-19 variants is to ensure that vaccine manufacturers have the necessary information to produce updates to their inoculations.