Indian COVID Variant of Global Concern: WHO Says

Vaccination Has Proven to Be Effective Against New Mutated Strain with Fast Transmission Rate

World Health Organization (WHO) has recently classified the COVID-19 strain, which has been diagnosed in India in the previous year, as a variant of global concern. According to the preliminary studies which had been conducted on the COVID-19 viral infective variant of global concern commonly being diagnosed in India, which have been named as the B.1.617 mutant, is able to spread at a much faster rate as compared to the other variant of the coronavirus, thus requiring more research.

According to the World Health Organization, this specified variant has been transmitted in more than 30 nations throughout the world and spreading fast. The other three variants from the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa have also been classified in the same category of being some of the coronavirus variants of global concern.

These mutated strains have been elevated regarding their concern from being just variants with interests to variant with global concern, after gaining evidence by fulfilling one of the multiple criteria, including the fast rate of transmission of infection, a severe form of illness, a reduced capability to neutralize by the number of antibodies or reduced effectivity of vaccines and treatment.

Currently, the COVID-19 variant of global concern is being studied for the establishment of its responsibility for the sudden deadly rise in the number of active confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in India, which have currently overwhelmed the medical facilities and crematoriums in multiple major cities throughout the country.

Critical condition of India

In a single day on Monday, it has been reported by India that 366,161 new active cases along with 3,754 mortalities across the country due to faster transmission rate of infection caused by COVID-19 variant of global concern. Due to the rapid surge being experienced throughout the South Asian country for the past recent few days, the oxygen supply of the country is experiencing a shortage, which has continued to be a major problem being faced by India and have spread far beyond the limits of its capital city, Delhi.

According to the local media outlets, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, 11 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection have reported died overnight while being admitted to a hospital located in the city of Tirupati after a tanker filled with concentrated oxygen was unable to reach the medical facility on time.

The government of India has stated that there has been new evidence found which is able to find a link between the variant of global concern with the deadly second wave of COVID-19 infection being observed across India, although a complete correlation is yet to be established with further research studies.

Due to the worsening of the situation across India, several of the states throughout the country have imposed lockdowns on localized areas, along with curbs and curfews on public movement over the past month to help limit further transmission of infection.

However, the Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi’s government, is currently facing extreme criticism and is under pressure to announce a strict nationwide lockdown which could possibly help to limit the transmission of coronavirus variant of global concern, thus helping in reduction of the daily active confirmed patient count.

The criticism against Prime Minister Modi is for allowing mass gatherings of individuals to take part at the festivals celebrated by Hindus and his election campaign rallies, despite the critical situation of the country and onset of coronavirus variant of global concern across the region.

Shortage of vaccines

On Monday, the healthy minister of Delhi has stated that the capital city of India has only been left with three to four days of supplies for the COVID-19 vaccine left in storage.

The shortage of viable vaccine dosages is further disrupted the already disturbed vaccination program of the country. Only a little over 34.8 million individuals, which is equivalent to only 2.5% of the total general population of India, have been able to be administered with both doses of the coronavirus vaccine so far since the program started several weeks ago.

The World Health Organization has said that the current vaccine will be continued for administered in the population as it is effective against the new coronavirus variant of global concern which had been diagnosed throughout India, and the cause begins rapid surge in the number of active confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

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