At a time when the world is battling a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases triggered by Omicron, a new and potentially more transmissible variant of coronavirus has been detected in France. Called the IHU variant, or B.1.640.2, it was first detected in southern France last month. The variant has 46 mutations, leading to the fear that IHU could be more resistant to existing vaccines. Omicron has 30 mutations. Experts, however, say it is too early to say anything with certainty about its behaviour. At least 12 people were found infected with IHU in France's Marseille. Reports say some of them have been hospitalised with the illness.