Udayavni Special

‘Variant of Concern’: All you need to know about the Indian variant of Covid-19


Team Udayavani, May 11, 2021, 2:15 PM IST

India has recorded  approximately 38 percent of the global Covid-19 cases, with hospitals running out of beds, medicines, oxygen, and ventilators

Several scientists are studying what led to the unexpected surge. Meanwhile, WHO said the B.1.617 Indian variant of Covid-19 appears to be more contagious and has been classified as being “of concern”

It is said to be transmitted more easily than the original version of the virus, and might possibly have some increased resistance to vaccine protections.

Until now, WHO has listed it merely as a “variant of interest”. Now it will be added to the list containing three other variants of Covid-19 those first detected in Britain, Brazil and South Africa which the WHO has classified as being “of concern”.

The Indian variant consists of two mutations on the spike protein of the virus. A spike protein allows a virus to enter the body and infect it and it can then spread quickly through the body. The mutations found in the Indian variant are identified as E484Q and L452 and are not entirely new. E484Q is similar to E484K, a mutation seen in South African and Brazil variant

While few experts say that it remains unclear whether the new coronavirus variants are driving the second wave, many suggest that it  has spread rapidly through parts of the country, including the state of Maharashtra

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