Covid-19 Lockdown in India, Lockdown in Beed, Maharashtra Highlights: Karnataka issues fresh guidelines for public events; Indore, Bhopal shut down malls, clubs, public pools
The epidemiological case definition for SARS-CoV-2 reinfection was developed from literature review of data on viral kinetics. (Representational image: Reuters)
2021 Coronavirus Cases in India Highlights: It was the year 2000. The humans were gearing up for the turn of the century (yes, it’s settled, 21st century began in the year 2001) and the mutants were adorning the big screens around the globe. Remember the X-Men? How these mutants with superpowers became our heroes (Hello Wolverine!). Cut to 2021. We are living in the world of the pandemic with masks and sanitisers and terrified of the mutants. Every time the scientific community tells us about new mutant variants of the novel coronavirus, the crippling anxiety fogs our brains. So, it is understandable that many among us are actively looking for quick explainers on the ‘double mutant variant’ of the coronavirus in India.
So, what exactly is the double mutant variant and should we be worried? Cutting the clutter and all the jargons here’s a simple answer to this – any virus is a living organism that changes with time (much like us humans). The more the virus spreads, the more chances it has to change or mutate with time. Mutation can alter the virus in three ways – the rate of infection, the severity of the infection and the way in which it bypasses the immune system of the host (in this case, we are talking about us humans).
Now, coming to the double mutant variant present in India. With other variants of the virus also being reported, the focus now is to find out how deep the penetration of the ‘double mutant variant’ is. Also, it’s too early to link it to the fresh surge of Covid cases. As the name suggests, this variant has double mutations i.e. mutation of spike protein and mutation of Ace 2 receptors. This would make it easier for this variant to bypass the natural immune system and infect people quickly and more severely.