It is premature to call the Deltacron coronavirus variant a new strain of COVID-19, as there may have been a laboratory error. This was announced on Monday, January 10, by the head of the scientific group for the development of new diagnostic methods based on sequencing technologies at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor Kamil Khafizov.
“The media recently reported on the identification by Cypriot scientists of a new strain of coronavirus, which combines mutations of both Delta and Omicron, and already nicknamed Deltacron in everyday life. On January 7, 2022, 25 sequences of the new “variant” of the coronavirus were actually deposited into the international database GISAID. I took the word “option” in quotation marks because upon closer examination they turned out to be similar to laboratory contamination, that is, contamination of some samples by others, ”said Khafizov.
As the expert of Rospotrebnadzor noted, it is possible to get a mixture of coronavirus variants if the laboratory rules are not followed. For example, if the analysis was carried out by an insufficiently experienced employee.
Khafizov believes that it is too early to talk about the properties of the new strain, as well as the effectiveness of the vaccine against it.
“First you need to understand – is it a new hybrid, or was it laboratory contamination. Moreover, other laboratories have not identified anything similar, ”he concluded.
On January 8, Leontios Kostrikis, head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology at the University of Cyprus, announced that a new variant of COVID-19 has been discovered in Cyprus, which has become a hybrid of the Omicron and Delta strains.
According to him, this option was named “Deltacron”. Its genetic basis resembles the Delta strain, while the mutations in the new variant are the same as in Omicron. The Deltacron strain was found in 25 samples taken in Cyprus, added Kostrikis.
A large-scale vaccination campaign is underway in the Russian Federation. Citizens are vaccinated for free. Five vaccines against coronavirus have been registered in the country: Sputnik V, which became the first vaccine against COVID-19 in the Russian Federation and the world, as well as Sputnik Light, EpiVacCorona, EpiVacCorona-N and KoviVak.
All relevant information on the situation with the coronavirus is available on the websites of stopcoronavirus.rf and accessvsem.rf, as well as by the hashtag #WeV Together. Coronavirus hotline: 8 (800) 2000-112.