Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said that a COVID-19 variant behind the acceleration of India’s explosive outbreak has been found in dozens of countries across the world.
According to the UN health agency, the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant, first found in India in October, had been detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to an open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions”.
“And WHO has received reports of detections from five additional countries,” the agency said in its weekly epidemiological update on the COVID-19 pandemic, reported news agency AFP.
According to the WHO, Britain had reported the largest number of COVID cases caused by the variant outside of India.
Earlier this week, the WHO announced B.1.617, which counts three so-called sub-lineages with slightly different mutations and characteristics, as a “variant of concern”.