• Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

WHO classifies India variant as being of global concern

  • Published at 09:26 am May 11th, 2021
India Covid Hospital
A woman waits inside an ambulance for her turn to enter a Covid-19 hospital for treatment, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease in Ahmedabad, India, April 28, 2021 Reuters

More information about the variant and its three sub-lineages will be made available on Tuesday

The World Health Organization said on Monday that the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.

The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant to be designated as being of global concern and requiring heightened tracking and analysis. The others are those first detected in Britain, South Africa, and Brazil.

"We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level," Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on Covid-19, told a briefing. 

"There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility."

Indian coronavirus infections and deaths held close to record daily highs on Monday, increasing calls for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lock down the world's second-most populous country.


Also Read - WHO top scientist: Variant accelerating India's Covid explosion


The WHO has said the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India in December, although an earlier version was spotted in October 2020.

The variant has already spread to other countries, and many nations have moved to cut or restrict movements from India.

Van Kerkhove said more information about the variant and its three sub-lineages would be made available on Tuesday.

"Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant and this lineage and all of the sub-lineages," she said.

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, said studies were under way in India to examine the variant's transmissibility, the severity of disease it causes and the response of antibodies in people who have been vaccinated.

"What we know now is that the vaccines work, the diagnostics work, the same treatments that are used for the regular virus works, so there is really no need to change any of those," Swaminathan said.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the WHO Foundation was launching a "Together for India" appeal to raise funds to purchase oxygen, medicines and protective equipment for health workers. 

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail