The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus variant "Mu" as a "variant of interest."
WHO renames four coronavirus variants known generally as UK, South Africa, Brazil and India variants as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta after other nomenclatures, such as Greek gods and bird names, were rejected.
Initial data shows mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech retain most of their effectiveness for at least six months though further protection remains to be determined.
Scientists at deCODE Genetics' laboratory in Reykjavik have sequenced all of the around 6,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirms two people infected with the new variant are “contacts of cases who travelled” from South Africa. South African scientists believe the variant is more infectious and could hit younger people harder.
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