Indian COVID-19 variant, deadlier, more transmissible, dodges vaccine protection: WHO
New Delhi, Apr 28: The World Health Organisation said that a variant of COVID-19 found to be contributing to a surge in the cases in India has been found in at least 17 countries.
The B.1.617 variant of Covid-19 first found in India had as of Tuesday been detected in over 1,200 sequences uploaded to the GISAID open-access database from at least 17 countries, the WHO said.
"Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, USA and Singapore," the WHO also said. The agency however stopped short of declaring it as a variant of concern.
This would indicate that the variant is deadlier than the earlier one as it is more transmissible, deadly or able to dodge vaccine protections. WHO said that its preliminary modelling based on sequences submitted to GISAID indicates that the variant has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India. "Indeed, studies have highlighted that the spread of the second wave has been much faster than the first," WHO also said.
"Further investigation is needed to understand the relative contribution of these factors," it further added.