Epsilon: Vaccine resistant coronavirus variant found in Pakistan
New Delhi : Another variant of coronavirus – Epsilon – which was first discovered in California in 2020, has been detected in Pakistan, raising alarm for its neighboring nation India. According to the researchers, the Epsilon variant of coronavirus is resistant to all available vaccines till date.
Punjab health authorities have been alerted amid a massive spike in cases in Pakistan. At least five cases of the Epsilon variant were detected in Lahore, the Dawn reported.
What do we know about Epsilon variant of coronavirus?
This is not a new variant and was first detected in the United States. Epsilon strain, also known as CAL.20C, is known as the second most active variant of the infection in New York, USA. For the first time, it has been detected in a South Asian nation.
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) had earlier declared it a ‘’Variant of Concern’ but was later revised to a ‘Variant of Interest’. However, on July 6, the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated it under ‘alerts for further monitoring’.
Epsilon strain has been detected in 35 nations so far.
Why it is a reason for concern to India?
According to a study, Epsilon variant is as transmissible as the Delta variant, it is being considered as the prime reason behind the fourth wave in Pakistan, triggering an alarm for India which is taking measures to avoid the third wave.
As on Sunday morning, Pakistan logged 5,029 Covid-19 cases, the highest since April 29, when the country reported a total of 5,112 infections.