World Heath Organisation (WHO) raised concern over B.1.617 variant of Coronavirus, first identified in India, after creating a havoc in the nation, with a massive increase in positivity rate. WHO listed Indian COVID variant, which was first identified in October, as ‘variant of concern’ indicating the virus has “highest public health implications”. WHO had earlier classified the same variant as a “variant of interest”.
The earliest cases of Coronavirus variant B.1.617, were first reported in October, and announced by Indian in March, claiming, that the variant had become more common in Maharashtra, with a higher transmission rate. The Indian variant B.1.617 variant, first detected in October, is seen to be easily transmitted as compared to the original strain and might have developed resistance to vaccines, which can be major cause of concern, told by UN Health Agency.
WHO’s lead on Covid-19 Maria Van Kerkove talking to the reporters, told “there is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility of the B.1.617,” and pointing to early studies, she adds “suggesting that there is some reduced neutralisation”. She said “as such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level,” whose details could be collected from WHO’s weekly epidemiological update on Tuesday.
The B.1.617 of the Covid-19 is the fourth variant listed in WHO global concern that requires more tracking and analysis. The three others strains were first detected in the United Kingdom B.1.1.7, South Africa B.1.351 and Brazil P.1.
WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said medical exams are being conducted in India to examine the variant’s transmissibility, the severity of disease it causes and how a vaccinated person’s antibodies response to the virus. She said “what we know now is that the vaccines work, the diagnostics work, the same treatments that are used for the regular virus works, so there is really no need to change any of those “
India has been facing an explosive outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, with India accounting for one death in every three deaths reported worldwide each day, according to a Reuters tally, making India lead in daily average deaths of the world and the variant B.1.617 is believed to be behind the latest wave of infections in India. The devastating wave has overwhelmed country’s healthcare system. Experts believe that official figures for cases and fatalities are much lower than the actual numbers