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New Coronavirus Variant AY.4.2 Found in Russia, It May Spread, Rospotrebnadzor Watchdog Says

© AP Photo / Mark SchiefelbeinA visitor wearing a face mask takes a photo of a model of a coronavirus and boxes for COVID-19 vaccines at a display by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic largely under control, China's capital on Saturday kicked off one of the first large-scale public events since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, as tens of thousands of attendees were expected to visit displays from nearly 2,000 Chinese and foreign companies showcasing their products and services.
A visitor wearing a face mask takes a photo of a model of a coronavirus and boxes for COVID-19 vaccines at a display by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic largely under control, China's capital on Saturday kicked off one of the first large-scale public events since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, as tens of thousands of attendees were expected to visit displays from nearly 2,000 Chinese and foreign companies showcasing their products and services. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.10.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The new coronavirus Delta strain variant, AY.4.2, has been found in isolated cases in Russia, Kamil Khafizov, the head of the scientific group for the development of new methods for diagnosing human diseases at Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor's Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, said.
"Yes, the AY.4.2 variant of the Delta strain is already being detected in isolated cases in Russia, as follows from the sequencing results of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genomes deposited in the VGARus database. In some circles, the new gene variant is called 'Delta plus', but the same name previously referred to a different variant, and therefore there is now some confusion," Khafizov told reporters.
"The likelihood of its wide spread in the Russian Federation and in the world is sufficient. The frequency of this sub-strain is increasing, but experts do not believe that it is responsible for the continuing large number of daily cases of coronavirus infection in various countries," he said.
Earlier, scientists in the UK announced the spread of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus than the usual Delta strain. According to experts from the Sanger Institute in Cambridge and the Genetics Institute at University College London, the new AY.4.2 variant could be 10-15 percent more infectious than the usual Delta strain. If these data are confirmed, the variant may become the most infectious since the beginning of the virus spread.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the new AY4.2 mutation of the Delta COVID-19 variant, but not in any clusters, with Delta continuing to be a predominant strain in the country, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday.
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