‘Double mutant’ linked to COVID surge: India
Published: 11:03 AM, 6 May 2021
A healthcare worker collects a swab sample from a woman; Photo: Reuters
The “double mutant variant” of the coronavirus which was first discovered in India in March may be “linked” to the deadly second wave of the virus, said India’s health ministry.
According to BBC, the “B.1.167 variant” – linked to British, South African and Brazilian mutations – of Covid-19 has been found in several states with high case numbers.
“However, that is not enough to fully establish a correlation,” said an official of the National Centre for Disease Control.
Speaking at a health ministry news briefing, K Vijay Raghavan, the government’s top scientific adviser, admitted that experts had not anticipated the “ferocity” of the surge in cases.
He also warned a third wave is “inevitable”.
Given the high levels of circulating virus, the “third wave is inevitable”, however, it is not clear on what timescale this third wave will occur, K Vijay Raghavan said, adding: “We should prepare for new waves.”
Meanwhile, India reported a record 412,618 cases and 3,982 deaths in the span of 24 hours till Thursday morning.
The current surge of the virus has already overwhelmed the healthcare system with hospital beds, oxygen and even crematorium space in short supply.
Several states are under “localized lockdowns and curfews”, but the government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown, for fear of the impact on the economy.