Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga Tuesday went back on his steps and now said the two cases of Deltacron COVID-19 he had announced a day earlier are in fact still under investigation.
Queiroga had said the two occurrences had been detected one in Pará and another in Amapá, but now specified both of them still need some sequencing before reaching a conclusive statement.
Read also: Cases of Deltacron confirmed in Brazil
The minister also said the sequencing of the virus found in these patients should be completed soon and when that happens there will be a definitive answer about the variant.
The two Deltacron cases I mentioned earlier are still under investigation and have been notified by the states. The total sequencing of the virus should be completed in the coming days by the national reference laboratory of Fiocruz, Queiroga explained.
In any case, there is no reason for concern. The [World Health Organization] WHO has classified Deltacron only as a variant for monitoring and has not considered it as a variant of interest or concern, as was the case with Omicron and Delta, Queiroga went on.
A preliminary study released March 9 identified three patients in France with Deltacron, a recombination of the Delta and Omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
However, the research has not yet been published by scientific journals or reviewed by other experts. In an interview with Reuters, Philippe Colson, from Ihu Méditerranée Infection and lead author of the study, said the new version combined the S protein of Omicron with the body of Delta.
Two other infections have also been reported to have emerged in the United States, according to a report not yet released by the genetic company Helix, while another research had already mentioned 12 more Deltacron infections in Europe since January.
Colson said scientists would continue to monitor the cases, but he warned it was still too early to define the version's impact on humans.
WHO's leading researcher Maria van Kerkhove forecast recombinants were expected, especially with the intense circulation of Omicron and Delta, and that her team was tracking and discussing the variant.