Lambda COVID-19 strain not yet a 'variant of concern,' says WHO | Inquirer News
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Lambda COVID-19 strain not yet a ‘variant of concern,’ says WHO

/ 09:16 AM July 06, 2021
Two more cases of Delta variant infection logged in PH, says DOH

FILE PHOTO: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (red) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), also known as novel coronavirus, isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH/Handout via REUTERS.

MANILA, Philippines — The Lambda COVID-19 strain, feared to be “more infectious” than the Delta variant, remains to be a “variant of interest,” an official from the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

“Lambda at this point in time still remains a variant of interest. That does not mean that we are not following it, we are still studying it and it doesn’t warrant a classification as a variant of concern at this point in time,” Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative to the Philippines, said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

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“It is present in several countries I believe, 20 to 30 countries now, but so far, it has not demonstrated characteristics that will warrant its classification as a variant of concern,” he added.

The Health Ministry of Malaysia earlier said that the Lambda variant was reported to have originated from Peru.

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While the Lambda variant is feared to be “more infectious” than the Delta variant, Abeyasinghe said there is still not enough information to say that it is “more transmissible.”

“We have multiple expert groups that start following that virus and studying that virus (variant), both within WHO and externally with our partners, so that we can better understand that virus (variant),” he also said.

“And if we see that the virus is more transmissible, is causing more severe disease, is resilient to the currently available therapeutics or vaccines, then we will decide to call it a variant of concern,” he added.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, Delta variant, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe , Lambda variant, World Health Organization
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