Double mutant now most prevalent variant in India: Report

New Delhi:  Among all the mutant Covid-19 variants in India, the double mutated virus, B.1.617, is becoming the most prevalent, according to genome sequencing data submitted by Indian scientists to a global database.

The database has revealed that the double mutation virus, which has been found in several countries, was the most common in the samples sequenced in the 60 days prior to April 2 at 24 per cent.

The B.1.617 variant, first detected in Maharashtra, contains mutations from two separate virus variants — E484Q and L452R.

As per the assessment by scientists from Scripps Research, the UK variant, B.1.1.7, with 13 per cent of the samples is the second most prevalent.

As on April 15, out of 13,614 Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) samples processed in labs, 1,189 samples have tested positive for variants of concern for SARS COV-2 in India.

This includes 1,109 samples with the UK variants, 79 samples with South African variant and 1 sample with the Brazil variant.

Recently, health experts said that the double mutant variant may be less dangerous than expected as the most vulnerable patients are having only mild illnesses.

The experts emphasised that as per the current evidence, new variants are observed from few states. But, details about its epidemiology are yet to be known.

India has reported 2,34,692 fresh Covid cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike ever, pushing the country’s overall Covid tally on Saturday to 1,45,26,609, according to the Health Ministry data.

This is the third consecutive day that the country has registered over 2 lakh Covid cases.

India recorded 2,00,739 and 2,17,353 cases on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Meanwhile, as many as 1,341 people died of Covid in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s death toll to 1,75,649 so far.

The daily active cases tally on Friday rose to 16,79,740.


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