It was first identified in France, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Based on what is known at this time, Deltacron has a low level of circulation. The available data, however, could reflect an under-reporting of cases due to the decrease in the number of COVID-19 tests globally.
"Given the decline in testing around the world, we are at a disadvantage in tracking this virus as effectively as we should," WHO infectious disease Epidemiologist Varia Van Kerkhove said.
After two years of the pandemic, the global diagnostic and genetic sequencing capacity is currently significant. However, it could be underutilized because it is mistakenly perceived that the pandemic is over or is no longer serious.
"As long as this virus continues to circulate, it will have more opportunities to change. The possibility of recombination of variants has always been on the table," Van Kerkhove said, calling for those capabilities to be preserved and utilized.
On Tuesday, Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga announced that his country's epidemiological surveillance system had detected two Deltacron cases in the northern states of Amapa and Para. The next day, however, he said that those cases had not been fully confirmed as investigations continue.
"The total sequencing of the virus should be completed in the next few days... In any case, there is no reason to worry. WHO classified Deltacron only as a variant to be monitored. It is not a variant of interest or concern," he explained, as reported by Gazeta do Povo.