A new Covid variant, suspected of being probably “more infectious” than Omicron has been discovered in France, according to reports from international news outlets.
While some countries are still scrambling to grapple with a surge in Omicron cases, the new variant named ‘IHU or B.1.640.’ has been reported in France with 12 people testing positive it.
The findings, published on Medrxiv, say “the new variant has 46 more mutations than Omicron, fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions are located in the spike protein. This genotype pattern led to creating a new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2, which is a phylogenetic sister group to the old B.1.640 lineage renamed B.1.640.1″.
Last week AFP reported that he number of new infections spiralled by more than half across the world as the Covid-19 surge continues, while pandemic-linked deaths dropped nine percent.
Some 30 countries from all corners of the world struck record weekly infection rates as the pandemic flared up again.
They include the countries with the highest number of infections per person, led by Denmark with 1,907 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Ireland (1,784), Cyprus (1,497), the United Kingdom (1,441), and France (1,260).
At a global level, the number of Covid-linked deaths dropped nine percent to 6,330 on average per day.
Europe accounted for more than half, or 53% of the deaths, with 23,324 people succumbing over the past week. The United States and Canada made up 24%, or 10,433, of the fatalities.
The countries reporting the highest death rates in proportion to their population were Trinidad and Tobago with 12.08 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Georgia (11.76), Hungary (8.25), Poland (7.85), and Croatia (7.65).