Thai expert thinks newly-found ‘Deltacron’ is not a hybrid


By Amarin TV and Jerusalem Post

A THAI professor at Chulalongkorn University opined that the new “Deltacron” coronavirus variant found in Cyprus is not a hybrid of Delta and Omicron variants but a new strain of the former, Amarin TV said today (Jan. 9).

Dr. Jesada Denduangboriban, attached to the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, commented on a team of researchers in Cyprus having found a coronavirus strain which has infected 25 people and nicknamed it “Deltacron” saying it is too early to tell whether there will be more cases of this variant and what impact it will have on the general public.

In studying mutation of a viral genome it has to first be determined whether it causes a more severe disease, how resistant it is to vaccines and whether it is spreading faster than other variants.

If the answer is no to the above questions it should not be considered a worrying variant.

Dr. Jesada added that this variant should be called “mutated Delta” that coincidentally has many points similar to Omicron (omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genomes).

Moreover the name “Deltacron” has not yet been recognised by the World Health Organisation, he pointed out.

Dr. Leondios Kostrikis, the head of the laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology at the University of Cyprus, told Cyprus Mail that the variant, nicknamed “Deltacron”, has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of the mutations from Omicron.

In total, 10 of the mutations from Omicron were found in the 25 samples taken in Cyprus. Eleven of the samples came from people who were hospitalised due to the virus, while 14 came from the general population, Jerusalem Post said.

Kostrikis theorised that the fact that the frequency of the mutation among hospitalised patients was higher could point to a correlation between the new variant and hospitalisations.

Cyprus’s Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas stated on Saturday that the new variant was not something to worry about at the moment and expressed pride in the country’s scientists for discovering the new variant.

“The groundbreaking research and findings of Dr. Kostrikis’ team make us proud of our scientists as this research puts Cyprus on the international map when it comes to health matters,” said Hadjipandelas, according to the Cyprus Mail.

Cyprus’s Health Ministry plans to announce more information about the new variant in a press conference at the beginning of the week. The scientific name of the new variant has not been announced as of yet.

The announcement of the new variant comes just a week after a new coronavirus variant, B.1.640.2, was discovered in France. Experts have stated that it seems not to be a cause of concern.

Meanwhile the Thai Public Health Ministry announced this morning that there were 8,511 Covid cases and 12 deaths over the past 24 hours with this taking the cumulative confirmed total since April 1, 2021 to  2,240,687.

Of today’s batch of cases 7,942 emerged in surveillance and healthcare systems, 199 were found through proactive search in communities, 20 fell sick in prisons and detention centres while 250 foreign arrivals tested positive.

Another 2,605 patients were cured taking total recoveries since April 1, 2021 to 2,166,441 while 53,858 patients are still undergoing treatment.


Top: Dr. Jesada Denduangboriban. The Thai headline says, “Deltacron is not the official name.”  Photo: Amarin TV

Home Page: People wait outside a vaccination centre, amid the coronavirus disease pandemic in Limassol, Cyprus on May 4, 2021 Photo: Yiannis Kourtoglou/ Reuters and published by Jerusalem Post

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