Lambda COVID-19 strain not yet a ‘variant of concern,’ says WHO
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.
“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.
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.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.