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New ‘triple mutant’ Covid variant emerges in India as cases soar

Mayank Aggarwal
·2-min read
A woman mourns with her son after her husband died from COVID-19 in Ahmedabad, India (REUTERS)
A woman mourns with her son after her husband died from COVID-19 in Ahmedabad, India (REUTERS)

India has detected a new ‘triple mutant’ variant of Covid-19 even as it battles to contain one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus.  

India is already facing a huge spurt in Covid-19 cases and many health experts point out the presence of double mutant as the reason. The news of the triple mutant is only going to add to the existing problems.

The triple mutation means a combination of three different Covid-19 strains to form a new variant and states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Delhi are believed to have cases driven by this mutant, reported NDTV News.

Watch: 'Double mutant' strain behind increase in Covid-19 cases says India epidemiologist

Madhukar Pai, professor of epidemiology at McGill University, told NDTV that: “This is a more transmissible variant. It is making lots of people sick very quickly. We have to keep tweaking vaccines. For that we need to understand the disease. But we need sequencing on war footing.”

He even said the delay in detecting the double mutation may have contributed to the current virus spurt in India.

At present, the news report said the triple mutant is a variant of interest rather than a variant of concern.

In a detailed thread on Twitter, a scientist, Vinod Scaria, who works with the Delhi-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), said additional experimental data is also required to assess the efficacy of vaccines against this variant.

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Since the start of the pandemic, India has recorded about 15.6 million cases of Covid-19 with over 182,500 deaths – of this nearly 1.1 million were recorded in the last four days alone.

With the record number of cases witnessed every day, the South Asian nation has become the global epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak right now. In the last 24 hours, India witnessed over 295,000 cases of Covid-19 and over 2,000 deaths.

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