There is no official confirmation that the newest COVID variant, Mu, has been detected in Barbados just yet, Prime Minister Mia Mottley revealed on Monday.
The strain was discussed with officials of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in an emergency virtual meeting with CARICOM leaders and health ministers on the pandemic.
Mottley said: “CARPHA would have advised us this morning that they were seeing a virus that they could not initially identify at first and of course once PAHO came out and said that it was Mu, that in truth and in fact, it may have been in the region since June and we may well have it in Barbados. We just don’t have the confirmation yet.
“Against the backdrop of which CARPHA spoke this morning when they meet with the labs they may well find now that where you saw unidentified and the reports would say unidentified, the assumption may be that may have been Delta all along but they may well have to refine those assertions so we may well have [Mu], we don’t know.”
Earlier this month, Mu was declared a variant of interest by the World Health Organisation.
Mu, or B.1.621, was first identified in Colombia and has so far been confirmed in Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Alpha and Delta variants have been detected in Barbados and Health Minister Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic said: “Right now, the fight is against Delta in this country.” (SD)