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COVID-19: B.1.617 variant now found in at least 53 territories: WHO

WION Web Team
Geneva, SwitzerlandUpdated: May 26, 2021, 11:31 AM IST

Photograph:(AFP)

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While the cases have now decreased in India, the danger of this variant still looms in other territories, the report claims

The B.1.617 variant of coronavirus, which was first detected by India’s health experts, has now been reported in 53 territories, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Wednesday.

As per unofficial data procured by sources of the WHO, the B.1.617 variant has also been reported in seven other territories, which would take the toll to 60.

This has also hinted that the variant has increased transmissibility and the level of severity, due to which it has also been classified as a variant of concern.

The variant has been identified as the reason behind the alarming increase in coronavirus cases that had brought a deadly second wave in India and other South Asian countries.

While the cases have now decreased in India, the danger of this variant still looms in other territories, the report claims.

"Despite a declining global trend over the past four weeks, incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths remain high, and substantial increases have been observed in many countries throughout the world," the report read.

WHO has also advised people to not let their guards down even if there is a decline in the cases. "Virus evolution is expected, and the more SARS-CoV-2 circulates, the more opportunities it has to evolve," the report said.

"Reducing transmission through established and proven disease-control methods... are crucial aspects of the global strategy to reduce the occurrence of mutations that have negative public health implications."