Today, Tuesday, the World Health Organization announced the discovery of the so-called Indian variant of the Coronavirus, which is suspected of having plunged India into a major health crisis, in “at least 17 countries.”
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According to the World Health Organization, variant B.1.617, better known as the Indian variant due to its first occurrence in India, has been detected in more than 1,200 genome sequences, in “at least 17 countries”.
“Most of the snapshots uploaded to the GISAID database come from India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore,” the World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemic update.
In recent days, the variant has also been reported in several European countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, and Italy).
The preliminary sequencing-based WHO modeling provided to GISAID indicates that “B.1.617 has a higher growth rate than other variants prevalent in India, indicating greater infection”.
The World Health Organization recently classified this variable as a “variable of interest” rather than a “variable of concern”. However, this last name indicates that this variant is more dangerous (larger infectious, more lethal and able to escape vaccinations against the vaccine).
This alternative still raises questions. The World Health Organization says “other behaviors” could be the reason for the resurgence of cases in India, such as non-compliance with health restrictions and mass gatherings.
The organization also notes that other variants currently in circulation are highly contagious, but the combination of these two factors “may play a role in the re-emergence of cases” in India.
India faces a blast in infections, breaking the world record of 352,991 new infections and a national record of 2,812 deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of cases worldwide to 147.7 million.
There is an urgent need for “more research” especially on the extent of infection, severity and risk of reinfection of the Indian variant “” to understand the role it plays in the health crisis in India.