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The Lambda variant was first discovered in Peru last December and was declared a variant of interest by the World Health Organisation in June this year

It has been just over a year and a half since the Covid-19 pandemic began and by now, more reports have been released about the different ways in which the virus has mutated. Though there have been many different Covid-19 variants, some, like the Alpha variant and the Delta variant which is currently sweeping the globe have been of particular interest.

See also: Delta Plus: Everything You Need to Know About the New Covid-19 Variant

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus has mutated once again to form a new variant called Lambda that originated in Peru and that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has flagged as a variant of interest. This new variant has been causing concern as it spreads around the world slowly.

In fact, the Philippines recently reported their first case of the variant this week and officials are still unsure if the current vaccines can protect against this mutation or if it will cause a new wave of infections like the Delta variant. 

Below, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this new strain.

See also: Covid-19 Singapore: Here’s How Dining In Will Work From August 10

Where has the Lambda variant been discovered?

The Lambda variant was first discovered in Peru in December last year. While officials have been watching the variant closely, it was only determined to be a variant of interest on June this year by the WHO when it started spreading significantly around South America.

Where has the Lambda variant been discovered?

On June 15, WHO announced in a report that the Lambda variant had been detected in 29 countries, territories or areas in five WHO regions. However, these were primarily in South America.

It has since spread to places such as Japan, Canada, Spain, France and now, the Philippines. Thankfully, it has yet to infiltrate Singapore.

Can the current vaccines protect me against the Lambda variant?

The authorities are currently studying how our current vaccines react to the Lambda variant.

In June, the WHO said: “Lambda carries a number of mutations with suspected phenotypic implications, such as a potential increased transmissibility or possible increased resistance to neutralising antibodies.”

That said, the countries where the Lambda variant is most present are in places such as Brazil, Chile and Peru and they all rely heavily on Covid-19 vaccines made by China such as Sinovac and Sinopharm which has raised questions about how effective they are. Of course, it is to be noted that vaccination rates do differ across South America.

Should we be worried?

Right now, there is no need to worry about the Lambda variant. Beyond getting vaccinated and following all local Covid-19 regulations, you should be able to go about with daily activities as per normal. It does need to be noted, however, that the variant is a variant of interest so it is only one step away from being a variant of concern like the Alpha or Delta mutations.

Should the Lambda variant prove to have increased transmissibility or to cause more severe reactions, it could be bumped up to a variant of concern and that is when countries need to take more notice and action against it. 

See also: All the Covid-19 Vaccination Incentives Singapore Citizens Can Receive: #OurBestShot

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