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Covid Update: The Indian COVID Variant

The Indian COVID variant is raising global concern; it was first detected in India and now has been spread in over 17 countries. India recorded the world’s sharpest spike this month in terms of COVID-19 infection, and many states, including New Delhi and Mumbai, are running out of oxygen, hospital beds, and medicines.

Scientists are studying and trying to figure out if this variant of Coronavirus was first detected in India. The name of the Indian COVID variant is B.1.617.

B.1.617

This COVID variant boasts two key mutations to the outer spike, and this portion of the virus attaches to the human cells, stated Shahid Jameel (senior Indian virologist).

The predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India in December 2020; an earlier version was also found in October 2020, said World Health Organization.

WHO also stated that it might be mutations that would make the virus more virulent or transmissible.

Due to mutations, the virus can cause more severe disease and break away vaccine immunity.

WHO also described that the other COVID variants that were first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil had already been categorized as “variants of concern.”

Are New Variants Increasing Transmission?

Laboratory-based studies of limited sample size indicate potential transmission increase; however, more study is urgently required, said WHO.

The situation is critical as the Covid variant B.117 is detected in some parts of India. This variant was first detected in the UK, and it’s highly transmissible. In Delhi, the UK variant has already spread.

The Indian COVID variant is widely present in Maharashtra, said Singh.

Can Vaccines Stop COVID-19?

Evidence from the lab studies suggests that Covaxin can neutralize the variant, said Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser. On the bright spot, vaccines can be protective.

There is no evidence that the Indian COVID variant and other two related variants can cause more severe disease, said England.

Well, the situation is very complicated, and the best we can do is to be patient. Several vaccines are being developed all around the world, and many are in manufacturing state. The Indian vaccine, Covaxin, is showing positive results. Please don’t panic and register yourself for the vaccination on the Co-Win app.

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