A variant of Covid 19, originated in India and said to cause the second wave in the country in a faster pace, has now spread to about 17 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO said that the second wave in India was much faster and was widespread across the country. In the weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19, the health organisation said that the B.1.617 variant of Covid – 19 first found in India was detected in over 1.200 sequences uploaded to the GISAID database from at least 17 countries.
The WHO recently listed B.1.617, which has several sub-lineages with slightly different mutations and characteristics as a “Variant of Interest” (Vol). This label indicates that it is more dangerous that the original version of the virus. This means it is more transmissible, deadly or able to dodge vaccine protections.
Both B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 were first identified in India in December 2020. The variant B.1.617.3 was first detected in India in October 2020. But relatively fewer viruses matching this sub-lineage have been reported to date, the WHO said. B.1.617 has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India. The WHO said this suggested potential increased transmissibility, with other co-circulating variants also demonstrating increased transmissibility.
INCREASE IN CASES
India has seen a sudden surge of Covid 19 cases in the last three weeks. All the states recorded more cases than the first wave. Apart from this, the country also saw a shortage of Oxygen.
As of April 29, the country reported 3,79,257 new cases. Ten States including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan report 72.20 per cent. Maharashtra reported the highest daily new cases at 63,309. Karnataka followed with 39,047 and Kerala reported 35,013 new cases.