The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed the existence of a variant of the coronavirus, which is responsible for the severe outbreak in the Asian country, through scientific studies and has warned of its rapid spread.
WHO will publish a detailed report on the variant called B.1.617 on Tuesday, said WHO technical director for coronavirus, Maria van Kerkhove.
“There is some information that suggests better portability,” said Van Kerkhove at a press conference.
A study in a limited number of patients that hasn’t been studied also suggests that the mutation might prevent some key antibodies, he explained. “As such, we classify it worldwide as a worrying variant,” he emphasized.
Although preliminary studies have shown this variant can be more widely spread, more information and specific sequencing is needed in India and elsewhere to know how much virus is circulating, added Van Kerkhove.
The Indian health system is on the sidelines due to a wave of infections that has left 300,000 new infections in the past 19 days.