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IHU, the new Covid-19 variant detected in France has 46 mutations

Researches stated that it is too early to come to speculate on how this variant behaves considering infection and protection from the vaccine.

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Covid in France
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New Delhi: With the world recovering from the Covid-19 second wave and still processing how to deal with the new variant of Covid, that is, Omicron, scientists have identified a new strain of the Covid-19causing virus in France.

The variant is been currently called IHU, the B.1.640.2 variant has been identified by researchers at institute IHU Mediterranee Infection after analysing 12 Covid patients living in the same geographical area of southeastern France.

Researches stated that it is too early to come to speculate on how this variant behaves considering infection and protection from the vaccine.

The study is yet to be peer-reviewed was posted on the preprint repository MedRxiv on December 29 informed that IHU has 46 mutations and 37 deletions compared to the original viral strength. Besides, this resulted in 30 amino acid substitutions and 12 deletions.

US epidemiologist and health economist Eric Feigl-Ding in a series of tweets mentioned the IHU variant.

Moreover, he stressed the fact that new variants are being constantly detected however it does not necessarily mean that it has to be dangerous.

“There are scores of new variants discovered all the time, but it does not necessarily mean they will be more dangerous. What makes a variant more well-known and dangerous is its ability to multiply because of the number of mutations it has in relation to the original virus,” Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding posted on Twitter.

“This is when it becomes a “variant of concern” – like Omicron, which is more contagious and more past immunity evasive. It remains to be seen in which category this new variant will fall,” the doctor further said.

The B.1.640.2 variant has not been detected in any other country and is not recognised as a variant under investigation by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The news was followed after French government officials on Tuesday stated to enact by mid-January as per the law to block unvaccinated people in spite of the legislation hitting a procedural hitch in parliament overnight.

European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune told LCI television that “January 15 remains our goal,” for the law coming into force.

France has enforced a Covid-19 health pass which means that to get into  restaurants, cafes, or cinemas or board trains, people need to show a negative Covid certificate or proof of vaccination

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