The WHO Tuesday said that the coronavirus B.1.617 is a global variant of concern.
The news comes as scientists reported new clues suggesting the mutations first seen in India may be making the pathogen more transmissible.
Recently, new assessments by scientists show that the B.1.617 and its particular lineage B.1.617.2 have been rapidly expanding their footprint in some regions.
Moreover, the lab tests show that they can lead to a high viral load. Although it is not clear yet if they are more resistant to vaccines or immunity from the past infections.
Maria Van Kerkove, the WHO’s lead on Covid-19 says that there is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility of the B.1.617.
Classifying it as a variant of concern at the global level, she adds that more details would be provided later.
This variant remains one of the reasons why India has been overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases.
It will now be added to the list containing three other variants of Covid-19. These were first detected in the UK (B.1.1.7), Brazil (P.1) and South Africa (B.1.351). CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THESE VARIANTS
Moreover, as per the latest genome sequencing data shared by Indian labs with the global repository GISAID says something. The variants B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 account for 58 per cent of all samples submitted in the last 30 days.
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