Lambda: New variant of COVID-19 that is affecting 29 countries

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jun 18, 2021, 10:04 AM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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By designating it as a 'variable of interest,' the World Health Organization is signalling that 'Lambda' will be closely monitored in terms of infection strength before being added to the group of 'variables of concern,' which includes Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the existence of a new COVID-19 "variant of interest" known as 'Lambda.' 

It was initially detected in Peru in August 2020, and it has since been reported in 29 nations around the world, mostly in Latin America, including Argentina and Chile. 

Also read | US CDC calls coronavirus Delta variant a 'variant of concern'

By designating it as a 'variable of interest,' the WHO is signalling that it will be closely monitored in terms of infection strength before being added to the group of 'variables of concern,' which includes Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. 

"The Lambda lineage was first detected in Peru and was categorised as a worldwide Variant of Interest on Monday because of an "elevated prevalence" in South America, according to the WHO's weekly bulletin. 

Also read | Delta coronavirus variant 60 per cent more transmissible, says UK

The variants are divided into two categories: The difference between the two is that those of concern can cause epidemiological problems and the others do not yet have that capacity.

According to the organisation, after closely monitoring this variant, they discovered a rise in transmissibility and resistance to neutralising antibodies.
The Brazilian and British variants are circulating at gamma and alpha levels. 

Unlike Variants of Concern, which have made headlines around the world, Variants of Interest are tracked by health organisations but have yet to be proven to pose a serious hazard to public health. 

The Delta variation is the most recent example. It was first discovered in India and was classified as a Variant of Interest until May 11, 2021.

But once started spreading rapidly around the world then the WHO classified it as a Variant of Concern.

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