Uruguay detected a new variant of coronavirus: what is known about the P6 mutation

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Scientists from Uruguay they detected a variant of Covid-19, who they baptized P.6. This strain would have contributed to the first wave of cases registered at the end of 2020 but later was postponed by the Brazilian P-1 and, since the end of April, he disappeared.

This is how the Pasteur Institute of Montevideo in a statement, in which it details that the Uruguayan variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected thanks to a study carried out by researchers from the Inter-Institutional Working Group (GTI) on genomic surveillance of the virus and notes that this variant appeared for the first time in November 2020 Y it was the predominant one until March.

“P.6 -according to the name granted by an international scientific committee- owes its name to the fact that derives from variant B.1.1.28, originated and widely distributed in Brazil during 2020 ”, explains the text.

According to the Institute, the international scientific committee establishes that, to be considered a variant, the finding “must have mutations that distinguish it from existing variants”And that the geographic expansion it has to be different from the original.

“The Uruguayan variant includes two relevant mutations that are located in the Spike protein, which could be associated with increased transmissibility. One of the mutations has also been detected in other variants of the world increasing its frequency towards the end of 2020, which would support the idea that it can grant higher transmission capacity”, They maintained.

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After its appearance in November, the Uruguayan variant became the predominant between January and February and began to decline in March, when the P1 arrived. So far, the last sample detected with the Uruguayan variant dates from April 26.

“Scientists estimate that the Uruguayan variant would have played an important role in the first wave of covid-19 in the country, as they observed a coincidence between the emergence and dissemination of this local variant with the increase in COVID-19 cases registered from November / December, “the statement concluded.

Since December 2020, Uruguay has experienced a strong growth in covid-19 cases and this has worsened since March with the arrival of the Brazilian P1. From there, positives and deaths increased exponentially and it was not until June that the numbers improved, helped by the vaccination in a high percentage of the population.

63% of vaccinated

The country adds 381,569 cases of covid-19 Since the beginning of the health emergency, which was declared in Uruguay on March 13, 2020, of which 1,967 are people who are suffering from the disease, 53 of these are admitted to intensive treatment centers (ICS) and 5,966 deaths.

With regard to vaccination, and according to the web monitor developed by the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), 2,235,245 people (one 63.09% of the population) already completed the immunization schedule of the Chinese pharmaceutical companies Sinovac, the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca and the American Pfizer, while 334,611 were inoculated only with the first dose.

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Uruguay will open the agenda this Tuesday for those who – after being immunized with Coronavac or AstraZeneca – choose to receive a third dose, in this case of Pfizer, as approved last week by the health authorities

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