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Israel detects mutation of delta variant of coronavirus

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“The AY4.2 variant, detected in several European countries, has been identified in Israel,” the ministry said in a statement.

The infected person is an 11-year-old boy who has traveled to Europe, and the case was identified at Ben-Gurion Airport in the capital Tel Aviv. The child has been placed in quarantine and so far no cases of contact have been detected.

François Balloux, professor of computational biology at University College London, told France Presse news agency that the mutation is very rare and does not appear to present the same risk as other strains, which have been shown to be highly contagious..

To date, AY4.2 is not considered a variant of global concern or variant of attention by the WHO (World Health Organization).

The UK government said on Tuesday (19) that it is “watching very closely” the new mutation, which is spreading across the country.

A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister told reporters that there is still no evidence that AY4.2 is more contagious than delta, despite the country with the highest incidence of Covid-19 in all of Europe.

UK faces significant rise in number of new infections, with an average of 44,000 cases per day last week – against 25,000 in early August and only 1,500 in May, before the arrival of the delta variant.

Even with the detection of the new mutation, Israel continues plan to lift restrictions on tourism given declining number of Covid-19 cases in country.

An earlier plan to reopen the borders did not materialize as the number of infected people was increasing precisely because of the delta variant.

Between August and September, Israel recorded an average of 11,000 daily cases of Covid-19 (the country’s record since the start of the pandemic). The average is currently 1.3 miles – and on a downward trajectory.

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