Coronavirus experts in Brazil Wednesday admitted a new variant of the coronavirus' Manaus version had been identified, as concern about a worsening situation mounted.
The experts explained the new form of virus might be a mixture of the original Manaus one with the South African strain. Or a mutation thereof.
The scientific finding took place in Sorocaba, in the state of Sao Paulo.
Butantan Institute Director Dimas Covas confirmed the discovery in a press conference with São Paulo Governor, Joao Doria.
“It is being subjected to scientific work. It is a variant similar to that of South Africa, even though the person had no contact with travellers who have been to South Africa. That is why there is the possibility that it is a variant of our P1 that is in mutation towards the variant of South Africa,” said Covas.
According to O Globo, the new variant was detected in a 34-year-old woman who showed mild symptoms and a favourable clinical evolution and had no record of recent trips, either domestic or abroad.
Sorocaba is one of the places most affected by the hospital collapse caused by the virus' second wave.
Covas, who a few days ago announced the creation of a fully Brazilian vaccine called ButanVac, explained that laboratories must now follow up to determine if this possible mutation is present in other coronavirus patients or is an isolated case.
Recurring agglomerations have led specialists to warn about the emergence of new variants due to the lack of physical and social distancing.
Meanwhile, Bolivian authorities in the Brazil-adjacent region of Santa Cruz have announced all borders have been closed as a precaution. The border is closed for seven days, said Carlos Hurtado, head of the local epidemiology agency. All the country's borders with Brazil, added the expert, who admitted local scientists had been pressing the federal government to decree a 15-day closure.