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Israel detects new Covid-19 variant

Israel detects new Covid-19 variant

Israel's health ministry claimed on Wednesday it had found two people in the country infected with a new variant of Covid-19.

The variant was detected in two passengers who had arrived at Israel's Ben Gurion airport during PCR tests.

"This variant is still unknown around the world," Israel's ministry of health said in a statement. Although Israel's pandemic response head allayed fears regarding the new variant.

The new strain of Covid combines two sub-variants of the Omicron version of the Covid-19 virus- BA.1 and BA.2. Hybrid versions of Covid which combine two variants have also been found before as in case of "Deltacron"- that combined Delta and Omicron variants.

The two cases of the new strain have not required any special medical response, Israel's health ministry said, adding that the symptoms observed till now were mild- fever, headaches and muscle dystrophy.

"The phenomenon of combined variants is well known," Israel's Covid response head Salman Zarka said. "At this stage, we are not worried about it leading to serious cases," he added, thus assuaging the pandemic-weary world which hopes for a return to the normal.

However, Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that he would meet with health officials including Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz to address the rising Covid-19 infections "in several places around the world."

In January, Israel had also recorded the first case of "florona" disease, a double infection of COVID-19 and influenza.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), which tracks and designates Covid-19 variants, is yet to say anything on the reports from Israel.

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