‘Delta plus’ variant found in HK for first time

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said on Friday that for the first time it has found a patient carrying a descendent of the Delta strain of Covid-19, which could be even more transmissible.

The AY.4.2 variant, dubbed “Delta plus”, was found in an imported infection, involving a 62-year-old man who arrived in Hong Kong from London on Monday.

“It was reported that AY.4.2 might be more transmissible than other Delta strains, especially among household members. So far, preliminary analysis in the United Kingdom does not find significant reduction in vaccine effectiveness for AY.4.2 compared to other Delta strains,” the CHP said in a statement.

It added that it follows up on all imported cases involving mutant strains by conducting whole genome sequencing to identify the lineage of the variants.

Meanwhile, health officials reported one new imported Covid case on Friday, involving a 46-year-old woman who recently flew in from the UK.