South African health officials will continue to monitor another new coronavirus variant, called Mu.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently classified the Pango lineage B.1.621 as a variant of interest and assigned it the Greek name “Mu”.
This variant was first detected in Colombia in January this year and has since spread across North America, South America and Europe, with detections in Asia.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)’s Dr Jinal Bhiman said the Mu variant had not yet been picked up in South Africa.
“We know that it is, like the Beta variant, much more resistant to immune responses. We suspect that this, we don’t really know at this point, but we suspect that it has a higher level of transmissibility, again for example the Beta and the Alpha. What we don’t know is how it fares against the Delta variant.”