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New COVID variant under investigation

VijayRaghavan further said new variants are transmitted in the same manner as the original strain.

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India is whirling with COVID-19 second wave, lakhs of COVID cases are registered and deaths in thousands. Even before the second wave is yet to settle, the Centre has warned of the third wave and added that everyone needs to be equipped for it.

There were news reports that Maharashtra might get hit with third wave in July or August, probably it would be the same time, the country would also witness the third wave. But with people getting vaccinated, the impact would certainly be low yet there should be no carelessness in handling the pandemic.

The Principal Scientific Advisor, K VijayRaghavan in his daily media briefing along with union health ministry officials said, “A phase three is unavoidable, given the higher levels of circulating virus but it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur.” Calling it ‘inevitable’ is a danger sign and hope at least this time the Centre will be prepared for any sort of critical situation.

VijayRaghavan spoke about the future of the coronavirus catastrophe. “A phase three is inevitable, given the higher levels of circulating virus,” he said. “But it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur. Hopefully, incrementally, but we should prepare for new waves. Previous infections and vaccines will cause adaptive pressure on the virus for new kinds of changes that try to escape. We should be prepared scientifically to take care of that.”

VijayRaghavan further said new variants are transmitted in the same manner as the original strain. “It doesn’t have properties of new kinds of transmission,” he added. “It infects humans in a manner that makes it more transmissible as it gains entry, makes more copies and goes on, same as the original.”

Scientists and experts are studying the reason for the current surge in cases in India and particularly whether a variant first detected in the country, called B.1.617, is the reason. It has been classified by scientists in the United Kingdom as a “variant under investigation” and has been partially blamed for the explosion in the number of cases in India.

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