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(LEAD) S. Korea reports 1st delta plus variant cases

All News 12:59 August 03, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in paras 5-6; ADDS photo)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday confirmed two cases of the highly transmissible delta plus variant of the novel coronavirus.

It marks the first time that the country has reported the delta plus version, considered a sublineage of the Delta variant that was first detected in India, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The KDCA said one of the Delta plus cases is a man in his 40's who has never been overseas.

South Korean residents and diplomats from India are guided by quarantine officials upon arrival at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on July 13, 2021, amid the fourth wave of COVID-19. (Yonhap)

The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus was first detected in India last October. The "subvariant" strain is considered to be even more contagious, possibly capable of infecting people even after inoculation.

The only known difference with the Delta variant is an additional mutation called K417N -- a spike protein that allows infection of healthy cells.

The "subvariant" strain has been identified in over 20 countries, indicating that more study is needed to understand the extent of the transmission, the authorities said.

South Korea has so far confirmed 6,016 cases of four major contagious variants of the new coronavirus, including 2,983 cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant so far.


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