COVID-19: South African and Brazilian strain detected in India
The government on Tuesday said that four cases of the South African variant of the Covid-19 cases have been detected in the Country. The variant has become a major cause of worry for the scientists because of its unusually large number of mutations.
Officials of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that they’ve found a total of 192 Covid-19 cases of the new variants of mutated SARS-coV-2 in the last two months including four from the variant emerging in South Africa and one form the Brazilian variant. The remaining cases are all of the UK variants, they said.
Addressing a media briefing, the General Director of ICMR, Professor Balram Bhargava, however, noted that no mortality has been reported so far in the cases who contracted the UK variant as well as those who are infected by the variants from South Africa and Brazil.
About the S.A variant better known as B.1.351, Bhargava said that its cases were reported in January in four returnees from African countries.
“One case was found in a person who returned from Angola, one from Tanzania and rest from persons who returned from South Africa,” he said.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, South African researchers believe the new strain is around 50 per cent more contagious than the previous variants.
Bhargava added that this variant has already spread to 44 countries and ICMR, National Institute of Virology, Pune is attempting to isolate and culture the variant and that experiments to access vaccine effectiveness are underway.