Beware of New COVID-19 Variant from France

Summary

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the finding of a new COVID-19 variant originating from France. The B.1.640.2 variant has been included in the Variant under Monitoring (VUM) category since November 2021 and is called COVID-19 IHU. The name was taken from the IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute, where scientists first identified the new virus. Researchers assessed that the IHU variant has 46 mutations making it more resistant to vaccines and more infectious.

Former Director of WHO in Southeast Asia and Director of Postgraduate at Universitas YARSI Tjandra Yoga Aditama confirmed its inclusion in the VUM category and that several countries had already reported it since September 2021. "It is still being monitored. If it is considered harmless after being monitored and assessed, the variant may be included in the formerly monitored variant criteria. If there is a problem, it will be categorized as a Variant of Interest [VOI]," he explained on Wednesday.

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