this is what we know about variant B.1.617 – El Financiero

The Indian variant of COVID-19 arrived in Mexican territory to register the first case in San Luis Potosí, an entity that has been on a yellow traffic light for six weeks.

It is the variant B.1.617 and whose spread is faster, reported on Sunday the Secretary of State Health, Miguel Ángel Lutzow Steiner.

To the above, the federal Ministry of Health reported that this strain does not represent a greater risk to the current epidemic, after several consultations with the World Health Organization. Ricardo Cortés Alcalá, general director of Health Promotion, assured that it was the WHO who classified the strain as a “variant of interest, but not of concern.”


What happened to this variant?
  • The week of April 12, with the unstoppable rise in the daily count of COVID infections, public health experts worried that the new variant was devastating the nation of more than 1,300 million people.
  • The new variant B.1.617 was initially detected in India with two mutations: E484Q and L452R.
  • It was first mentioned late last year by a scientist in India and more details were presented to the WHO in the second week of April, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s lead technical director on COVID.
  • “Having two of these mutations, which have been seen in other variants around the world, is concerning,” said Van Kerkhove.
  • The Indian Ministry of Health recognized for the first time the presence of a “Double mutant” at the end of March, but has played it down since then.
  • Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University said last week that one of his mutations is similar to those seen in others identified in South Africa and Brazil, according to the BBC.
  • Genome sequencing indicates that the variant is possibly to blame for the current lethal wave of COVID in India, although the Indian government has not confirmed this.
  • The average prevalence of the variant increased to 52 percent of samples sequenced in April from almost nothing in January, according to the site outbreak.info.
  • Have been detected one thousand 112 sequences in lineage B.1.617.1.
  • The strain has been detected in at least 24 countries.
  • Nithya Balasubramanian, head of health care research at Bernstein India, told Bloomberg TV this week that “yes, mutations are a huge cause for concern.”
  • The B.1.617.1 lineage has been detected in at least 21 countries, according to the global GISAID database.
  • Scientists believe that existing vaccines will help control the variant when it comes to preventing someone from getting seriously ill.
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The rebound of COVID-19 in India, which has led it to record world record levels of confirmed cases, also caused it to displace Mexico as the third country with the most deaths caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

India posts 218 thousand 959 deaths due to the pandemic, while in Mexico this data is located in 217 thousand 233, according to data from Johns Hopkins University which, in turn, collects data from government sources. Only the United States (577 thousand 54) and Brazil (407 thousand 639) have more deaths.

With information from Bloomberg *

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