11 July 2024

Scientists all over the world have been keeping a close eye on a new COVID-19 variant, which is a hybrid of the Delta and Omicron variants and is capable of attacking the lungs, like Delta, and is as easily transmissible as Omicron, according to the Centre for Medical Genomics at Mahidol University.

The hybrid, which is called Deltacron, has mutated into several sub-variants, namely XBC, XAY, XBA and XAW, especially XBC, which has registered 130 mutations.

The centre said that Deltacron was detected in the Philippines early this year and then quickly disappeared. It has since re-emerged in various sub-variants.

In a worst case scenario, the centre said that Deltacron may be as deadly as Delta, which has killed about 3.4% of those infected, which is twice the fatality rate of Omicron, citing a report published in Nature Reviews Immunology.

The centre said that most scientists still do not understand why COVID-19 has changed, from a lower respiratory tract disease to upper respiratory tract disease.

Thailand should be concerned about the Omicron XBB infections in the Philippines, because both are ASEAN countries and relatively close geographically.

According to the GISAID database, XBB has been detected in Singapore, 1,137 cases, Indonesia, 90 cases, Brunei, 77 cases, Malaysia, 32 cases, Malaysia, 32 cases, the Philippines, 20 cases and Cambodia, 1 case.

XBC has been detected in the Philippines, 35 cases, Brunei, 15 cases, Singapore, 1 case and Malaysia, 1 case.

All these countries have reported that both XBB and XBC cases are not serious and death toll is low.