Why Coronavirus is mutating? All you need to know about UK, South African, Brazil variants of Covid-19

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New Delhi | January 28, 2021 12:42 PM

Covid-19 update: Viruses have a genetic code in form of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or Ribonucleic acid (RNA).

Covid UK, Brazil, South Africa VariantThe variant raising potential concerns was first reported on December 22, 2020 and has now spread its wings over 40 countries including the US.

Covid-19 update: The apprehensions over newly traced variants of SARS-CoV-2 that cause Covid-19 continue to grow even though there are multiple vaccines and the vaccination is going on a war footing in several countries including India. There are primary concerns that these new variants may negate the immunogenicity of the currently available vaccines against Covid-19.

Viruses have a genetic code in form of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or Ribonucleic acid (RNA). Cells do multiply and DNA manages to replicate. However, during the process of replication, errors are randomly introduced into the DNA. There are enzymes in our cells that rectify these mistakes. However, there are no enzymes to rectify such mistakes in the case of RNA. That’s the reason why the RNA virus tends to undergo more genetic changes. or mutations, as per a report by Indian Express report.

SARS-CoV2 that causes Coronavirus has an RNA genome and that RNA genome has two features. The RNA genome has 30,000 nucleotides or nucleic acid units which is the largest genome for RNA viruses. This helps Coronavirus produce an enzyme that has the capacity to rectify the RNA replication errors. That’s why the Covid-19 virus changes a lot slower than influenza viruses which are also RNA viruses, according to an IE report.

The K variants of Covid-19 carry 17 non-silent mutations and 8 in the Spike protein. The South African variant of Covid-19 carries six in the Spike protein and nine non-silent mutations. The Brazil variant of Covid-19 carries 11 in the Spike protein and 16 non-silent mutations, the IE report says.

Till January 26, the UK variant of Covid-19 infected 29,000 people. While the South African variant has 668 viruses, the Brazil variant has 30 viruses.

India has so far reported 11,666 new COVID19 cases in the last 24 hours. During the same time, 14,301 people were discharged and 123 deaths reported due to Covid-19. Total Coronavirusb cases in India are 1,07,01,193, total active Coronavirus cases are 1,73,740, total discharges are 1,03,73,606, and the death toll is 1,53,847, according to a report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

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