'Lambda variant of coronavirus deadlier than delta': Malaysian health ministry

Published on Jul 07, 2021 06:49 AM IST

So far, the lambda variant has been detected in 30 countries, the ministry further said. In the UK, there are six cases of lambda, which has been designated as 'variant of interest' by the World Health Organization.

A woman receives a dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease vaccine during a mass vaccination in Mexico City.(Reuters Photo)
A woman receives a dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease vaccine during a mass vaccination in Mexico City.(Reuters Photo)
By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The lambda variant of the coronavirus is turning out to be deadlier than Delta, which was first discovered in India, according to health ministry of Malaysia. It added that cases of lambda variant have been detected in more than 30 countries in the past four weeks.

"The Lambda strain was reported to have originated from Peru, the country with the highest mortality rate in the world," the Malaysian health ministry tweeted on Monday.

It cited a report by the Australian news portal news.com.au saying that the lambda strain had been detected in the United Kingdom too. The researchers are worried that this variant may be "more infectious than the Delta variant", The Star reported.

Lambda accounts for nearly 82 per cent of the coronavirus case samples reported during May and June in Peru, Euro News reported citing the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

In Chile, another South American country, the strain accounts for more than 31 per cent of the samples from May and June, according to Euro News.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already designated lambda as 'variant of interest' due to its elevated presence in South America. The global health body said that lambda shows increased transmission and resistance to antibodies.

Meanwhile, Public Health England (PHE) has added lambda to its list of variants under investigation (VUI) due to international expansion and several notable mutations, including L452Q and F490S.

Six cases of Lambda have been identified across the country to date, all have been linked to overseas travel, according to PHE.

According to UK health officials, there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. But PHE said it is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

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