A Cyprus professor has claimed that he has discovered a new variant of the coronavirus, which is made up of the already existing Delta and Omicron variants. Scientists say that this is possible but it has not happened.
Leondios Costrikus, Professor of Biology at the University of Cyprus, has claimed that a new variant linking the Delta and Omicron variants of Corona has been found in Cyprus. According to a Bloomberg report, in a conversation with a TV channel, Professor Costrikus said, “We have found that this strain is formed due to the combination of Omicron and Delta. Due to the genetic signature like Omicron in the Delta genome, we named it DeltaCron.
On January 7, sequences of 25 cases of DeltaCron, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, were sent to GISAID. Professor Costrikal says whether it is more infectious or not will be known in the future, but he believes that the more infectious Omicron variant will take its place. Deltron is said to have got 25 patients so far.
Of the cases of this variant found in Cyprus, 11 people were hospitalized, while the remaining 14 have been found from among the general public. This variant has been given the name DeltaCron by Professor Costrikus. Scientists have not yet given it an official name.
Experts denying the claim
At the same time, some other scientists believe that this is not a new variant, but a result of exposure to both viruses in the lab. In response, Professor Costrikus says that the cases of DeltaCron infection he has found suggest that it is not a ‘single recombination’, but the result of evolution in the previous strain.
Professor Costrikus says that there are more cases of DeltaCron infection in hospitalized patients of corona infection, while not hospitalized, but this is not the case with infected people. This proves the lab conjecture wrong. In favour of his point, he also states that Israel has also submitted a sequence in the international database, which is similar to DeltaCron.
Nick Loman, Professor of Microbial Genomics at the University of Birmingham, who studies the coronavirus, says that when multiple variants of a single pathogen are spreading, those variants can form a new virus. Loman believes that it would not be surprising to see Delta and Omicron meet the new virus, but in this case, it seems to be the result of lab activities.
On this whole matter, Cyprus Health Minister Michael Hajipantla said on Sunday that this new variant is not a matter of concern. He has talked about giving more information in this regard by holding a press conference this week.