New Delhi: When the world is bearing the weight of the covid-19 pandemic, another variant with over 30 spike mutations of the deadly virus has been reported in South Africa, the report said.
This came to light when Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, posted the details of the variant on social media.
He wrote, “Just spotted: very small cluster of variant associated with Southern Africa with very long branch length and really awful Spike mutation profile including RBD – K417N, N440K, G446S, S477N, T478K, E484A, Q493K, G496S, Q498R, N501Y, Y505H.”
“The variant should be monitored due to its horrific spike profile this could be real concern.” he added.
As per reports, the B.1.1.529 variant was first spotted in Botswana, where three cases have now been sequenced. At the same time, six more have been confirmed in South Africa and one in Hong Kong from a traveler returning from South Africa.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), only four variants have been considered as “variant of concern,” these includes – Alpha (B.1.1.7, so-called ‘UK variant’), Beta (B.1.351, so-called ‘South Africa variant’), Gamma (P.1, so-called ‘Brazil variant’) and Delta (B. 1.617.2).
The mutation P681H seen in the new variant has been detected in Alpha, Mu, some Gamma and B.1.1.318 variants.
Moreover, the new variant also carries the N679K mutation, reported in many other variants. It also carries a mutation called N501Y, which has been reported in other variants of concern. Studies claimed that this mutation helps the variant to be more transmissible.
Additionally, D614G mutation, which has been reported to increase the virus’s infection, was also seen in the new variant.
On Thursday, the Government of India (GOI) asked all the states and Union territories to screen all the passengers coming from South Africa, Hong Kong, and Botswana, where the new strain was reported.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines, the people who come in contact with these international passengers are also to be monitored and screened.