India records highest ever single-day spike with 200,739 Covid-19 cases

India records highest ever single-day spike with 200,739 Covid-19 cases”

"PHE has identified 77 cases of this variant in the United Kingdom and all appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including enhanced contact tracing", it said.

What mutations does it have?

The variant B.1.617 which first appeared in India on December 7, 2020, according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), has two specific mutations - E484Q and L452R - that have been detected in more contagious variants worldwide, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the COVID-19 Technical Lead at World Health Organization, at a press conference here.

Genome sequencing with representative samples from all states seeing a COVID-19 surge is necessary before any conclusion can be drawn, experts said after a tracker by US-based Scripps Research suggested the B.1.617 lineage, also called a double mutant, has the highest cumulative prevalence of all mutant variants analysed in India. Their locations are unknown.

Though the "double mutant" has drawn attention, and some degree of panic, it is hard to say if it is the most common or abundant variant or even if it is responsible for the raging second Covid wave in India, said Anurag Agrawal, director of the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi, and virologist Upasana Ray. Vaccine breakthrough infections make up a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated, less than 1 percent, according to the CDC. This variant might escape both T-cell and antibody action.

"It might be even less controlled by vaccine than the Brazilian and South African variants".

'But we don't know that for certain at the moment'. As a result of these discussions the Prime Minister has made the decision to reduce the length of the visit, due to take place at the end of this month, to a shorter programme in New Delhi, the UK PM's spokesperson at 10 Downing Street said.

The country is not now on the Government's "red list" for travel, which sees people who have been in those countries in the previous 10 days refused entry to the UK.

More news: China says to hold talks with Kerry in Shanghai on COP 26

The UK is hoping to secure a £50billion trade deal with the south-Asian country.

It comes as Downing Street insisted that the Government's red list of travel ban countries is "under constant review", when asked why India did not feature on it.

Neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan, however, are included on the list despite their outbreaks being only a third of the size. Of these, 73 were recorded in England and four in Scotland.

The first of them date back to February, The Guardian reports, although no announcement was made until yesterday.

Britain has not classed India as a red-list destination, which requires travellers arriving from that country to enter hotel quarantine.

The virus has been mutating throughout the pandemic.

A similar delay happened before testing started to pick up the South Africa variant.

The database has revealed that the double mutation virus, which has been found in several countries, was the most common in the samples sequenced in the 60 days prior to April 2 at 24 per cent.

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