Indian variant is a WHO ‘Variant of Interest’; Magnitude of Outbreak Suggests an ‘escape variant’ coronavirus is sweeping South Asia: EXPLAINER
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has recorded the world’s sharpest spike in coronavirus infections this month, with political and financial capitals New Delhi and Mumbai running out of hospital beds, oxygen and medicines.
Scientists are studying what led to an unexpected surge, and particularly whether a variant of the novel coronavirus first detected in India is to blame. The variant, named B.1.617, has been reported in some 17 countries, raising global concern. Here are the basics:
WHAT IS THE INDIAN VARIANT?
The B.1.617 variant contains two key mutations to the outer “spike” portion of the virus that attaches to human cells, said senior Indian virologist Shahid Jameel.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the predominant lineage of