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Thursday, July 18, 2024

First cases of new Covid Arcturus variant detected in Russia – Watchdog

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Moscow: The first cases of the new COVID-19 Arcturus variant, which was earlier identified in India, have been detected in Russia, the health care and consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

“The regions were informed about the sub-variant of the coronavirus XBB 1.16 (“Arcturus”). The first genetic sequences assigned to this sub-variant, which was previously identified in India, were added to the VGARus database,” Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement.

The watchdog also noted that this variant can be more contagious, but there is no need to introduce new restrictions, since it is “not highly pathogenic.”

“Thus, the disease caused by it proceeds in a mild form. The introduction of any anti-epidemic restrictions due to the detection of a new sub-variant of coronavirus in the Russian Federation is not required,” Rospotrebnadzor said.

Last week, media reported, citing the World Health Organization, that a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in India was presumably caused by the spread of a new strain, XBB.1.16. This strain is a sub-variant of the Omicron strain and is reportedly more contagious, but does not cause a great number of severe symptoms.

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