INDIA’S terrifying “double mutant” strain of coronavirus is causing “increased concern” around the world.
Boris Johnson yesterday cancelled a scheduled visit to New Delhi as the virus there increasingly rages out of control.
Although it is not yet classified a variant of concern like Brazil or SOuth African strains , the fact it contains multiple mutations from the original SARS CoV-2 makes it much less easy to predict.
Two of the mutations seen in the India strain could make dodge vaccines much easier than earlier variants, while a third mutation could make it much easier to transmit.
That could explain why India is currently experiencing its worst outbreak of coronavirus since the pandemic began – something that has got increasingly concerned about the Indian strain becoming dominant.
So far there are at least 73 documented cases of the Indian strain in the UK.
There have also been multiple community transmissions, raising the prospect that not all incoming travellers with the virus were identified during their isolation period.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace, told the Andrew Marr Show: “We have seen a couple of cases (of the Indian variant) that haven’t arisen from travel but we’re still trying to undergo the investigations to look in great detail at where they might have acquired it from.
“To escalate it up the ranking we need to know that it is increased transmissibility, increased severity or vaccine evading, and we just don’t have that yet.”
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