Lisbon, 24 December (IANS): Three new variants of the new coronavirus were discovered in Portugal amid the ongoing second wave of pandemics in the country, a top health official confirmed.
“Now in this study, in collaboration with the Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC), we confirm that (genetic) variants of this second wave in Portugal have mutations not described during the first wave,” Joao Paulo was quoted as saying by Xinhua Gomes news agency from the Department’s Bioinformatics Unit. for infectious diseases, the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.
The three variants discovered in all regions of Portugal are in the “process of adapting the virus to humans,” Gomes said, suggesting that they are mainly responsible for the second wave.
“It’s normal for that to happen, it’s been a year since the virus seems to infect people, so that’s perfectly normal,” the expert said.
“In clinical terms, there is no evidence” that the variants are “more severe in terms of disease.” but the increase in cases may be due to their higher transmission capacity, he added.
Portugal reported 4,602 new cases of coronavirus and another 89 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the national number of cases to 383,258 and the number of deaths to 6,343.
Portugal’s development comes after two new mutated versions of the Covid-19 were unveiled in Britain in recent days, leading to a global suspension of flights to and from the UK.