SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A new sub variant of the Delta coronavirus strain, currently being monitored in the UK, has been in the Netherlands for the past 10 weeks, public health institute RIVM has confirmed.
The AY.4.2 sub strain accounts for 0.1% to 0.2% of cases, and the fact it has not increased since it was first identified is an indication that it is not a highly infectious variant, a spokesman told broadcaster NOS.
Nor has it been listed as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organisation.
Although the new sub species is not a game changer, virologist Marion Koopmans told NOS, it may have an impact. ‘I think we should take it into account in our approach to dealing with the virus in the winter,’ she said.
According to some experts, it may be 10% to 15% more infectious than the current Delta strain. Morocco has halted all flights to the Netherlands, Germany and Britain because of the coronavirus pandemic and according to one local news provider, a new variant of coronavirus is giving cause for concern.
DutchNews has contacted the Moroccan authorities to try to establish why the air travel ban has been introduced.
Meanwhile, eight of the 12 Dutch provinces are once again red on the official risk map drawn up by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Only Noord Brabant, Noord Holland, Groningen and Drenthe remain amber on the map, which has four colour codes: green, amber, red and dark red.
The number of positive coronavirus tests has been mounting in the Netherlands since the beginning of October, a week after social distancing and most other coronavirus measures were scrapped.