Indian Covid Variant a Concern According to WHO

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The coronavirus started to make headlines in late 2019, and even as we approach the halfway mark of 2021, the virus still seems to have the world at its knees. World powers and pharmaceutical industries put their heart and soul into developing a vaccine for the newfound virus, and their hard work paid off. 

We now have a working vaccine that is being supplied to countries all over the world. Even though this is excellent news, it seems like things are still not going the way humankind wants them to go. This is because, on one side, people were working to create a vaccine for the virus, but on the other hand, the virus had started mutating and forming different strains, some of which can even fool the vaccine.

  • The first known strain of the coronavirus was detected in England, and soon after, new strains started to pop up everywhere. Even though all of those strains can be dangerous, the World Health Organization has shown concern for the Indian variant of the virus and has dubbed it a “global concern.”
  • There is a lot to be learned about this new virus strand, but as it stands, we know the new mutation, also known as the B.1.617 mutation, spreads more quickly and easily compared to its counterparts. What’s worse is that the variant has already spread to over 30 countries.
  • WHO designates a virus mutation as a variant of concern when there is evidence that the new strain checks at least one box. This includes reduced effectiveness to vaccines, reduced neutralization, severe illness, or easy transmission.
  • Right now, there is a rise in COVID-related cases in India, and there are numerous studies underway to determine whether the new variant of the virus is responsible for it. The condition in India has garnered a lot of support and sympathy from all over the world; as it stands, hospitals and crematoriums are overwhelmed, and there are not enough resources to give adequate care to all patients.
  • Due to the surge in cases, oxygen has become a point of concern as there has been an immense shortage, and this problem has become rampant in other parts of the country as well, not just the capital.
  • The Indian government claims that the new variant is not responsible for the surge in infections. However, those statements are backed by little to no evidence. To mitigate the effects of the virus, several provinces in the country have imposed curfews and lockdowns.
  • The Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under fire for not handling the situation well. The government refused to impose a lockdown. They even allowed gatherings at Hindu festivals and election campaigns where people showed up in the thousands, and that didn’t do anything to help fight the effects of the virus.
  • The condition in India is heartbreaking, and at this point, all we can do is hope that governments take the proper steps and that people maintain social distancing and wear masks.

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