WHO says Indian Covid-19 strain “global concern”

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The coronavirus strain first discovered in India last year has been identified as a “variant of global concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Preliminary studies show that the B.1.617 mutation spreads more quickly than other versions, indicating that more research is required.

According to the WHO, the version has now spread to more than 30 countries.

The same distinction has been issued to three other variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil.

When a mutation meets at least one of the conditions, such as quick spread, more serious infection, decreased neutralization by antibodies, or reduced medication and vaccination efficacy, it is raised from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern” (VOC).

The version is being investigated to see whether it is to blame for a deadly outbreak in India that is already clogging hospitals and crematoriums.

On Monday, India recorded 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths, both lower than previous highs. According to experts, the real numbers may be even higher than those reported.

As a result of the the number of cases, oxygen shortages have become a crisis that has extended outside the city, Delhi.

After an oxygen tanker supplying the hospital was delayed, 11 Covid patients died overnight in Tirupati, according to local media in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

According to the Indian government, there is proof of a connection between the variant and India’s deadly second wave, but the link is yet to be “fully established.”

Over the past month, some jurisdictions have instituted localised lockdowns, curfews, and travel restrictions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, on the other hand, is under mounting pressure to declare a national shutdown and halt the spread of the virus.

He’s also been chastised for encouraging large crowds at Hindu festivals and election protests to take place amid the increasing number of incidents. The condition is believed to have deteriorated as a result of large election protests.

Delhi’s health minister said on Monday that the capital’s vaccine stocks were down to three or four days.

Shortages are complicating a sluggish vaccination schedule, with only over 34.8 million people, or around 2.5 percent of the population, getting all vaccine doses thus far.

The WHO claims current vaccinations may continue to be successful against the Indian version, but the WHO’s technical lead did claim at a press conference on Monday that there might be some signs of “reduced neutralization.”

Read more: https://pakobserver.net/international/