‘More dangerous than Delta’: Russia reports cases of new COVID-19 variant.

Russia has reported “remoted circumstances” of COVID-19 with a subvariant of the Delta variant that is believed to be even more contagious, the state consumer watchdog’s senior researcher said on Thursday. The researcher, Kamil Khafizov, said the AY.4.2 subvariant may be around 10% more infectious than the original Delta – which has driven new cases and deaths to a series of record daily highs in Russia – and could ultimately replace it.

However, he said this was likely to be a slow process. “The vaccines are effective enough against this version of the virus, which is not so different as to dramatically change the ability to bind to antibodies,” he mentioned.

Russian immunologist Nikolay Kryuchkov mentioned Delta and its subvariants would stay dominant and may sooner or later adapt in some methods to vaccines, particularly the place vaccination charges are under or simply above 50%.

“But it seems to me that a revolutionary jump will not happen, because the coronavirus, like any organism, has an evolutionary limit, and the evolutionary jump has already happened,” he said.

Moscow’s mayor on Thursday announced the strictest lockdown measures since June of last year, a day after President Vladimir Putin approved a government proposal for a week-long workplace shutdown at the start of November.

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