19 Variants of Coronavirus Identified in Brazil: Report

19 Variants of Coronavirus Identified in Brazil: Report A senior citizen receives a dose of Chinese-developed COVID-19 vaccine in Brasilia, Brazil, on March 22, 2021. (Lucio Tavora/Xinhua)

Rio de Janeiro [Brazil]: At least 19 variants of coronavirus have been identified in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, Instituto Butantan, a Brazilian biologic research center, said in a statement. 

“There are 19 coronavirus variants circulating in the state of Sao Paulo, with the P.1 (Amazonian) strain prevailing in 89.9 per cent of cases,” the statement said. 

This is followed by strain B.1.1.7 (UK), which accounts for 4.2 per cent. The state of Sao Paulo is the most populous, with 46 million residents and the largest number of COVID cases.

Meanwhile, the first batches of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be delivered to Brazil in early July, Camilo Santana, governor of the Brazilian state of Ceara, announced on Tuesday. 

“This morning, there was a meeting between representatives of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, responsible for the Sputnik V vaccine, and the governors of the North-East (Brazil). The Fund confirmed the deliveries of the first doses of the vaccine in early July, and the dose distribution schedule will be ready by the end of this month,” Santana tweeted. 

The RDIF head, Kirill Dmitriev, confirmed earlier that the supplies of the Russian vaccine to Brazil will begin in July.

On June 5, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency Anvisa approved the import and emergency use of the Russian Sputnik V with several restrictions. 

The drug has been long sought by the governors of six Brazilian states, the Brazilian interregional development consortium and Brazilian lab Uniao Quimica, which is already producing the vaccine. Sputnik V has been so far approved in 67 countries with a total population of over 3.4 billion people. 

The Russian vaccine ranks second in the world in terms of the number of approvals by government regulators. The company claims that Sputnik V’s effectiveness is 97.6 per cent based on the analysis of data from 3.8 million vaccinated Russians, which is higher than the data previously published by medical journal The Lancet (91.6 per cent).

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