Mu variant seems less transmissible, says David Hui

Government pandemic adviser David Hui said on Monday that it appears the Mu variant is less infectious than Delta – but he stressed there’s not enough data to draw a conclusion at this stage.

The World Health Organisation recently listed the Mu Covid strain as a “variant of interest”, and around 5,000 cases from 39 countries have been reported so far.

“There’s not a large number of cases – except for Colombia and Ecuador. But recently, there’s already no cases found in Colombia. So it appears the [Mu] variant has already spread to other places,” Hui told a Commercial Radio programme.

The Chinese University professor said it seems the Mu variant – discovered in January – is less contagious than Delta, which spread across some 160 countries in roughly the same time frame after it was found.

Hui said inoculated people could still contract the new mutated coronavirus, but vaccines are still effective in lowering the risks of death and serious infections.

But a leading microbiologist from the University of Hong Kong, Ho Pak-leung, said data showed that the coronavirus is becoming more drug resistant.

He said as the Mu variant becomes more common in Europe and the US, Hong Kong can expect to see more imported cases as well.