Indian variant of Covid-19 discovered in the UK, 77 cases ‘under investigation’

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Apr 16, 2021, 02:29 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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The double mutant strain was first found in samples of saliva collected from Maharashtra, Punjab, and Delhi

A double mutation coronavirus that first emerged in India has been detected in the UK.

A total of 77 cases of the variant, known as B.1.617, have been recorded in the UK up to April 14, according to Public Health England (PHE).

The B.1.617 variant contains mutations from two separate virus variants, namely E484Q and L452R.

The double mutant strain was first found in samples of saliva collected from Maharashtra, Punjab, and Delhi.

According to health experts, the L452R variant was first found in the US, whereas the E484Q variant is indigenous.

Scientists are worried about the variant as it carries two mutations in the spike protein that may make it more able to evade the body’s immune responses.

Experts in India are working to understand whether or not it could be more infectious and resistant to vaccines.

According to the health ministry, the new variant could also increase infection rates and easily surpass immune defences.

(With inputs from agencies)

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