A new variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Cyprus, Bloomberg News reports, and has been dubbed “Deltacron” due to its combination of features from both the Delta and the Omicron variants.
Leonidios Kostrikis, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, told Sigma TV on Friday that the newly discovered mutation has Omicron-like genetic signatures within Delta genomes.
“There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections, and we have found this strain that is a combination of the two,” he said.
So far, just 25 cases have been sequenced, and Kostrikis said that he doubted the new variant would displace Omicron, given how contagious the Omicron variant is.
“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail,” he said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reported a record 9.5 million COVID-19 cases across the world last week, an increase of 71 percent from the previous seven-day period. Nonetheless, because of Omicron’s far less virulent nature compared to Delta, the number of weekly deaths actually dropped.