New double-Covid strain in India

India is encountering a second wave of Covid-19 with a sudden surge of cases over a few weeks.

After spotting Covid variants from the UK, South Africa and Brazil, Medical board INSACOG states that India may have another 771 variants.

Indian SARS-Co-V-2 Consortium has detected 771 variants of Concerns(VOCs) out of 10,787 positive samples shared by the States/UTs.

Out of 771 VOCs, 736 positive samples carry the lineage of UK variant, 34 positive samples carry South African lineage, 1 sample of Brazilian lineage.

The positive samples with VOCs have been spotted in 18 States/UTs across the country.

Genome sequencing has been conducted on samples from arriving international passengers, people who were in contact with those positive for VOCs.

Compared to December 2020, there has been an increase in cases of E484Q and L452R mutations in Maharashtra, these mutations do not match the previous VOCs.

Both the mutations cause immune escape and increase infectivity, around 15% to 20% of the positive samples carry the mutations.

2,032 samples have been tested from Kerala, the N440K variant has been found in 123 samples from 11 districts of the State.

The same variant was found in 33% of samples from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

This variant has also been reported from the UK, Denmark, Singapore, Japan and Australia.