More lethal Covid mutation than Delta virus found in India, investigation continues

New Delhi: As countries around the world experience a spurt in Covid cases, a group of scientists from the SARS-CoV-2 network monitoring the genomic variations in INSACOG argued that the corona virus causing the Covid infection in India. A new mutant of the virus (AY-4-2) is present in ‘very small numbers’. The mutation that has caused a rapid increase in cases in Europe, Israel and Russia in the past week is thought to be more contagious than the delta virus.

Scientists say there is still a high degree of uncertainty in the findings regarding AY-4-2, and it is too early to say whether this lineage has a high risk of serious illness or death. On 21 October, the US Centers for Disease Control said there were fewer than 10 cases of AY-4-2 in its database so far, but that UK health officials have found 15,120 cases of AY-4-2.

Dr Anurag Agarwal, Director, CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) while deliberating on the issue said that AY-4-2 based on the revised definition is present in India, but in very small numbers, less than 0.1 percent. Low.

Dr. Agarwal said that further details and the exact number of AY-4-2 in India will be available soon. AY-4-2 is a descendant of the delta variant, which has been considered the most dangerous form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.

AY-4-2, called ‘Delta Plus’ and now named VUI-21OCT-01 by the UK Health Protection Agency (UKHSA), has been under close scrutiny in recent days. Evidence suggests that it spreads more quickly than the dominant delta variant. While the investigation is ongoing, it does not yet appear that the new VUI causes more severe disease or makes currently deployed vaccines less effective.

According to official data, the original Delta variant, first identified in India and later classified as a Variant of Concern (VOC) in the UK, remains highly dominant in the UK, accounting for around 99.8 per cent of all cases.

(with agency input)