Named the ‘Deltacron’ variant, researchers discovered the new strain in Cyprus. Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus has discovered 25 cases of the new strain. The findings have now been dispatched to GISAID, an international database that tracks viruses which tracks viruses.
As of yet, it is unclear how virulent or potent the new strain is, Bloomberg reports.
Professor Kostrikis said: “We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail.”
Of the 25 samples, 11 were taken from those who have been admitted to hospital.
A further 14 were taken from the general population.
While 25 cases have been discovered, experts have warned it is still too early to assess the potential new strain.
In the UK, Omicron cases have surged and already make up 365,376 of the country’s total since its discovery last month, UK Government figures show.
A further 274,470 cases were reported in the Government’s latest data release on January 7 – the previous report was on December 23.
Some experts have claimed the rapid spread of the new strain may begin to slow as some areas, such as London, may have already hit the peak of infections.
While cases may have peaked in some areas, or be approaching peak levels, there is concern over the continuing high rates of hospitalisations.
On January 3, 2,434 people were admitted to hospital with Covid across the UK.
While numbers continue to rise, close to 36,000 NHS staff were off sick due to Covid in the week ending January 2.
Last week, several trusts were forced to declare critical incidents due to staff shortages.
Professor David Spiegelhalter, a statistician from the University of Cambridge were dropping among younger people.
He told the BBC: “We would have expected to see that by now in London and elsewhere, so that is the really reassuring thing.
“I think we can guarantee that over this wave what we’re not going to see is a big surge in very severe outcomes.”
NHS trust executives are also concerned over losing NHS staff who are unvaccinated.
King’s College Hospital chief Clive Kay said he could lose 1,400 staff from April when healthcare workers will be required by law to be vaccinated.