(CMR) Chief Medical Officer for St Kitts and Nevis Dr. Hazel Laws said a new COVID-19 strain that was picked up in St. Kitts and Nevis in May 2021 has been identified as the Lambda variant.
Dr Laws explained that the Lambda variant, which has been identified in 29 countries, belongs to the lineage B.1.1.1 or C.37.
“The Lambda variant is classified as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization,” the CMO said.
The Lamba variant, was first identified in Peru in August 2020 and is prevalent in the South American countries including Argentina.
Meantime, Belize has detected a new variant of COVID-19 which the country's Ministry of Health and Wellness suspects could be the highly contagious Delta variant.
Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat said a variant was detected after tests were run last week; however, Belize does not have the technology to identify it. The samples were sent to Baylor University in Texas, USA, to conduct gene sequencing to determine which variant it is. Chebat said medical professionals believe it is the Delta variant.
PAHO Director Dr Carissa Ettiene said the Delta variant has also been identified in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Martinique, St Martin, Guadeloupe, Aruba and Puerto Rico.