Everything You Need To Know About The New COVID-19 Variant

All about the rise of Deltacron.

Another COVID-19 variant was discovered around mid-January 2022 by Leondios Kostrikis, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus. 

Top medical professionals worldwide called it a “possible contamination” at first. But the World Health Organization (WHO) eventually recognized it as the newest variant on March 9, 2022.

What is ‘Deltacron’?

Its name is a portmanteau of “Delta” and “Omicron,” which means this particular variant combines those two. However, scientists have given the new hybrid strain a temporary name: the AY.4/BA.1 recombinant.

A few days ago, the Brazilian Health Ministry officially announced that Brazil had had its first two cases of Deltacron: a 34-year-old man in the northern state of Amapa and a 26-year-old woman in the northern state of Para tested positive for it.

On the same day, Israel announced that the new variant had already made its way into the country, but national broadcaster Kan said no community spread had been observed.

Is it in the Philippines?

Thankfully, the new variant hasn’t been detected in the Philippines yet. According to Secretary Vince Dizon, Presidential Adviser on COVID-19 Response, the Philippines is ready for it even if Deltacron were to become a cause for concern.

Nakita naman natin, ilan na bang variant ang pumasok sa atin? Nasa lima na? Kahit papaano naman nakaraos tayo. We will be ready for it if it comes,” he said.

(“As we’ve seen, how many variants have been detected in our country, five? We survived it somehow. We will be ready for it if it comes,” he said.)

Should I worry?

There is little to no information right now on the Deltacron variant. However, scientists urge people not to panic as the WHO is putting their best scientists and researchers to give us more information. Still, based on what we know, it has a lot more bark than bite.

Due to its slow spread, Israeli immunologist Prof. Cyrille Cohen of Bar Ilan University says we shouldn’t worry about it too much since we don’t know for sure if it’s more dangerous than previous variants.

“Since it wasn’t able to overcome Omicron or other variants in the weeks it has existed, it doesn’t seem that it can, for now, spread widely in the population,” he said.

In other words, as long as people continue to get vaccinated (and boosted), mask up, and wash their hands, we’ll be alright.

Art Macky Arquilla

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