Indian strain of coronavirus found in 17 nations: WHO

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Indian strain of coronavirus found in 17 nations: WHO (Image: Pixabay)
Indian strain of coronavirus found in 17 nations: WHO (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : The Indian strain, also known as B.1.617 or a 'double mutant', has been detected in 17 other nations, said WHO on Wednesday.

The B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV2 or the 'Indian strain' is believed to be the main reason behind sudden surge in the number of coronavirus cases during second wave.

"As of 27 April, over 1,200 sequences have been uploaded to GISAID and assigned to lineage B.1.617 (collectively) from at least 17 countries," UN Health agency said.

GISAID is a global science initiative and primary source established in 2008 that provides open-access to genomic data of influenza viruses and the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants within Pango lineage B.1.617 were recently reported as a VOI from India and have recently been designated as VOIs by WHO," it said.

WHO notified that the Indian mutant is way more contagious and prime reason behind fast spread of coronavirus in the nation.

"Preliminary modelling by WHO based on sequences submitted to GISAID suggest that B.1.617 has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India, suggesting potential increased transmissibility, with other co-circulating variants also demonstrating increased transmissibility," the report by the global health body said.

"Other drivers may include challenges around the implementation and adherence to public health and social measures (PHSM), and social gatherings (including mass gatherings during cultural and religious celebrations, and elections). Further investigation is needed to understand the relative contribution of these factors," it said.