India is currently witnessing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases as a result of the second wave of infections.
New variant or the double mutation is said to be fueling this deadlier new wave, according to the public health experts.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization (WHO), said that they are closely following the variant.
Read: COVID-19: India Sees Yet Another Record Increase, PM Assures Strong Fight
India has surpassed Brazil to be the second worst-affected, after reporting over two lakh cases of COVID-19 in the past three consecutive days.
Here is what you need to know about this new variant;
- New variant is called B.1.617.
- It was initially detected in India with two mutations; E484Q and L452R.
- Aparna Mukherjee, a scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), called the variant more lethal.
- As of April 16th, the mutation was found in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Namibia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and the US.
- 408 sequences in the B.1.617 lineage have been detected. 265 were found in India.
- Due to the surge in infections, New Zealand suspended flights to and from India.
- Maharashtra, epicentre of the infection, reported the variant in 60% cases.