As per the experts, the newly discovered variant can spread to the vulnerable population at a faster transmission rate than that of the so-far discovered variants of the disease.
In another shocker, scientists in South Africa have discovered a new variant of Coronavirus called C.1.2 and said that the variant can be potentially more dangerous than the presently circulating variants of the disease. As per the experts, the newly discovered variant can spread to the vulnerable population at a faster transmission rate than that of the so-far discovered variants of the disease, the Indian Express reported.
News agency earlier in its report said that the variant has been described to be a variant of interest’ and first came to the notice of scientists of National Institute for communicable diseases (NICD) and the Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa in May this year. What has left scientists and health experts worried is the fact that the variant has more mutations than any other variant of Coronavirus discovered so far. Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals told the Indian Express that the variant has about 44-59 mutations and has the potential to cause severe illness among those infected.
On the question whether the new variant even surpasses the transmission rate of the Delta variant that was held responsible for the ruthless second wave in India, experts have their fingers crossed. Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, additional director and HOD, pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital Faridabad told the Indian Express that it would be slightly premature to term the new variant more infectious than the delta variant. Dr Jha further said that the currently available data does not suggest that the strain is as transmissible or deadly as the delta variant.
Over three months have passed since the strain was first discovered in South Africa but officially there has been no identified case of the variant in India. Taking cognisance of the findings of the South African scientists, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, technical head, World Health Organisation (WHO) wrote on Twitter that there are about 100 sequences of the new variant reported globally since it was discovered in May this year. Dr Kerkhove also said that so far the strain does not appear to be spreading at a fast pace. Dr Kerkhove further said that so far the delta variant is the most dominant strain of Coronavirus being reported in most parts of the world.