The World Health Organization (WHO) said that a new variant of coronavirus, named Lambda, has been identified in 29 countries. Notably, it has been found in South America where it is believed to have originated.
The Coronavirus variant Lambda lineage was classified as a global Variant of Interest on Monday due to an “elevated prevalence” in South America, the WHO stated. It was first identified in Peru.
It has been rampant in Peru. 81 percent of COVID-19 cases since April 2021 were found to be of this variant, the authorities reported.
In Chile, Lambda was detected in 32 percent of all submitted sequences in the last 60 days. It has been only outclassed by the Gamma variant which was first identified in Brazil.
Meanwhile, other countries like Argentina and Ecuador have also reported the prevalence of the new variant.
According to the WHO, the Lambda lineage carries mutations that might increase transmissibility or strengthen the virus’s resistance to antibodies.
However, the evidence regarding the same was too limited for the moment, the Geneva-based organization said, adding that more studies were required to understand better the Lambda variant.
The Variants of Interest, unlike Variants of Concern that have made headlines in newspapers across the world. However, it was not proved yet if it was a significant threat to public health.