New Strain Of COVID-19 Spreading From South Africa To Asia

Bhubaneswar: In a matter of concern for health experts regarding COVID-19 in India, a new strain of corona virus detected in South Africa has spread to Asian countries.

Scientists in South Africa have detected the new strain of the virus with several mutations. Though their research has not been peer-reviewed by other scientists, the new strain, known as C.1.2, was first detected in May.

The scientists are yet to confirm whether it is more contagious than other strains or has the potent to overcome the immunity provided by vaccines. But it has already spread to most of southern Africa and seven other countries in Africa, Europe and Asia, according to a report of news website

C.1.2 strain contains mutations that have been linked to increased infection and decreased sensitivity to antibodies, but it has a different mixture. The scientists have not yet verified how it affects the virus and are conducting further tests, the website reported.

Earlier, B.1.351 variant of corona virus had originated in South Africa in February. It contained a mutation called N501Y that made it more transmissible. According to the WHO, this variant “is less susceptible to antibody neutralisation” than previous variants.

In the second wave of COVID-19, four major mutant strains of corona virus were detected in India. They are double mutant strain (B.1.617 variant), UK strain  (B.1.1.7 Variant), South African strain and Brazilian strain (P.1 Variant), according to a report of Outlook.

In Odisha, a team of genomic researchers from CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi and Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar had identified 73 novel variants of the COVID-19 strain in Odisha.

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