16 Mar 2022 11:52

No cases of Deltacron Covid-19 strain found in Russia - Rospotrebnadzor

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) - It is still too early to speak about the wide spread of the Deltacron variant of Covid-19, as only a few cases of Deltacron have been recorded worldwide, and the new strain has not been found in Russia, Anna Cherkashina, who heads the genetic engineering and biotechnology research group of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Russian consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, told Interfax on Wednesday.

"To date, around 30 such genomes have been registered with the GISAID international repository of virus sequences, which indicates that there are only few cases of this variant worldwide. Therefore, it is absolutely premature for now to speak about any wide spread of this variant," Cherkashina said.

To date, Deltacron has not been detected in Russia, she said.

Russian specialists "are following publications on this score and are studying the genetic diversity of coronavirus genotypes circulating in Russia," Cherkashina said.

It is currently impossible to describe the properties of the new strain, as the data available today is not sufficient to draw any conclusions, she said.

"But, judging by the fact that Deltacron has been spreading quite slowly, it is already possible to presume that it is not more contagious than other strains. The number of cases of this variant is also quite small, which is why we do not yet have enough information about its properties in order to be able to assess its danger and severity. More information is needed in order to draw more detailed conclusions. We are following publications and the spread of this variant in the world," she said.

Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the technical group of the World Health Organization Emergency Diseases Unit, said earlier that the Deltacron strain, a combination of Delta AY.4 and Omicron BA.1., had been detected in a number of European countries (France, the Netherlands and Denmark).