The second wave that started after February in India is not taking the name of stoppage. The new cases increased again on Thursday after the reduction of new cases for nearly two weeks. It is clear that the peak of the second wave is far away. The World Health Organization (WHO) has included the new variant B.1.617 of the corona virus ie SARS-CoV-2, which was revealed in Maharashtra in October last year, in the list of variants of Concern. This means that it is more contagious and deadly than the original corona virus found in Wuhan, China in 2019.
The number of deaths in corona virus cases has increased in the last three-four weeks in India, it has also crossed 2.5 lakh deaths. 50 thousand deaths took place in just 15 days. If someone is responsible for this, then that is the new variant. It is also written and spoken in many places in the Indian variant. But the Government of India has objected to this. It says that no name has been given to this variant in the WHO report, it would be wrong to call it an Indian variant.
Truth is, this new variant of Corona B.1.617 has been found not only in India but in 44 other countries of the world. For this reason, WHO has removed it from the category of Variants of Interest (VOI) and declared it as Variants of Concern (VOC).
Know what WHO says:
The organization released the Weekly Report on 11 May. It stated that the B.1.617 variant has now become a matter of concern for the world (Variants of Concern or VOC). Indeed, the WHO has created a global database to monitor changes in the virus – GISAID, which is open to all. In this database, B.1.617 has been confirmed in 4,500 genome sequences from 44 countries. 5 more countries have also identified it, but it has not been confirmed yet.
This variant is divided into three sub-lines – B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3, with the initial two being the most dangerous. WHO says that cases have increased in many countries recently, so it is due to these variants. Initial results show that two variants B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 are spreading rapidly in India. The number of genome sequencing of the third sub-lineage has been found to be very low.
What Scientist Say:
Till two weeks ago, many variants were causing positive cases in India. Genomic data suggest that the first observed B.1.1.7 variant in the UK was active in Delhi and Punjab. At the same time, B.1.618 was increasing the cases in West Bengal and B.1.617 in Maharashtra.
Later B.1.617 overtook B.1.618 in West Bengal and has become dominant in most states. It has also grown rapidly in Delhi. Director of the National Center for Disease Control, Sujit Singh told reporters in Delhi on May 5 that B.1.617 is only responsible if the case reaches 3-4 lakhs.
According to the WHO, genome sequencing of 0.1% positive samples was done in India. So that the variants can be detected. After April 2021, 21% of the sequenced samples in India were B.1.617.1 and 7% cases were B.1.617.2. That is, it is responsible for the increase in the case.
Inception of this Variant:
Indian scientists were first caught in some samples taken from Maharashtra in October 2020 on B.1.617. INSACOG increased its activity in January and came to notice that B.1.617 is responsible for the increasing cases in Maharashtra.
According to Priya Abraham, director of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, B.1.617 was responsible for 60% of the cases in Maharashtra as of 15 February. After this, its sub-lines started coming forward.
In a study on May 3, NIV scientists claimed that this variant made 8 mutations in the spike protein, which causes the virus to come into contact with the human body. It had two mutations such as the UK and South African variants. At the same time, a mutation was similar to the Brazilian variant, which helps it dodge immunity and antibodies.