With highest single day spike of Covid-19 cases every day, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said that it has found a new variant of Sars-Cov-2. This new variant has been found in total seven states including Maharashtra, where there is an emergence of second wave of the disease, said the health ministry.
This latest “double mutant” is in addition to the other three variants of South Africa, Brazil and UK, the ministry told as a briefing on coronavirus situation in the country.
However, it is not clear whether these variants are causing the rising daily spikes in many states.
Here are all the details of the new variant :
- The variant carries mutations that include those denoted by the letters E484Q and L452R, which have separately been linked to characteristics that make the virus spread more readily and defeat, to some extent, immunity from a vaccine or past infection.
- The “double mutant” variant was found in a large number of samples, 206, in Maharashtra.
- The health ministry said that samples from six more states recorded this variant, with Delhi having the next highest numbers at 9.
- This new variant is in addition to the three other “variants of concern” (VOCs) – first noticed in the UK, South Africa and Brazil – that have been found in at least 18 states and union territories (UTs), said the health ministry.
- National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director S K Singh said that 771 cases of VOCs have been detected in a total of 10,787 positive samples in these states and UTs.
- Genomic sequencing by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) and epidemiological studies are continuing to further analyse the situation. The INSACOG is a grouping of 10 national laboratories for carrying out genomic sequencing and was established by the central government on December 25 last year.
- The Sars-Cov-2 virus was seen to be picking up about two mutations a month.