Indian coronavirus strain found in UK, US, and 15 other countries

28 Avril, 2021, 23:21 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Pearson screening

Pakistan has so far not reported any case of a new "Indian strain" - a "double-mutant" variant - of the coronavirus, considered to be responsible for a devastating recent spike in infections in India, an official said on Monday.

The India variant was identified after the sequencing process, carried out on the tests taken by returning travellers who tested positive for Covid-19.

"As of April 27, over 1,200 sequences have been uploaded onto Gisaid (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data) and assigned to lineage B.1.617 (collectively) from at least 17 countries; most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Singapore", it added.

"Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, USA and Singapore", the World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic.

The organization said the variant has three characteristic mutations, which could increase the virus's transmissibility and reduce the work of antibodies against it.

"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.

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The agency recently listed B.1.617, which tallies many sub-lineages with moderately different mutations and characteristics, as a "variant of interest". "(Public Health Ontario) will not develop a PCR-based test for the E484Q mutation at this time", a spokesperson told CP24 on Tuesday.

The third mutation - P681R - allows the virus to enter cells a little better.

Roque, who also serves as the spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), said passengers in transit from India and all those who have been to the same within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, who arrive before April 29, "shall not be subject to the above restriction".

The WHO has recognised that its initial modelling basis the sequences submitted to GISAID shows that "B.1.617 has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India, suggesting potential increased transmissibility".

The number of new deaths increased for the sixth consecutive week, with over 87,000 new deaths reported.

It has recorded more than 300,000 new cases on Tuesday with its health system getting overwhelmed with patients.

Pakistan is now reporting cases of the UK's new coronavirus variant.

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