UNITED KINGDOM: A new COVID-19 strain called ‘Lambda’ has been found in the United Kingdom. The new strain has now become a cause of concern across the world. The Public Health England (PHE) has categorized Lambda as a variant under investigation. According to the reports, around six cases have been detected between February 23 and June 7. The Lambda variant has been detected in 30 countries so far.
Meanwhile, the PHE has said that two doses of vaccine are still effective at providing protection against the risk of hospitalization.
However, there is no evidence that Lambda causes more severe disease or renders vaccines less effective.
Apart from the UK, the Lambda variant has been detected in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina. The new strain was reported to have originated in Peru, the country with the highest mortality rate in the world. The experts are saying that this variant has shown multiple mutations in spike protein. However, these mutations could have an effect on the transmissibility of the variant.
Meanwhile, the PHE is carrying out laboratory testing to understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus.
Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has made a decision to rename COVID-19 variants based on the Greek alphabet letters. The Lambda variant has been designated as the ‘variant of interest’ by the South American experts.
India has not recorded any Lambda variant cases yet. However, there has been a significant surge in Delta and Delta Plus variant cases. Experts believe the opening of air travel may bring the Lambda variant to India.