Coronavirus double mutant detected in India
A new “double mutant” variant of the coronavirus has been detected from samples collected in India. Officials are checking if the variant, where two mutations come together in the same virus, may be more infectious or less affected by vaccines.
Some 10,787 samples from 18 Indian states also showed up 771 cases of known variants – 736 of the UK, 34 of the South African and one Brazilian.
At a briefing this evening the Health Ministry said that, so far, the bulk of infections linked to this strain – around 20 per cent – have been reported from Maharashtra – 206 cases. Cases have also been reported from Delhi, Gujarat and Punjab, among other places, the ministry added.
“Mutations in viruses are common.. but most are insignificant and do not cause any change in its ability to transmit or cause infections. Some though, like the ones in the United Kingdom or South Africa, can make the virus more infectious and, in some cases, even deadlier,” officials said.
So, what exactly is the double mutant variant and should we be worried? Cutting the clutter and all the jargons here’s a simple answer to this – any virus is a living organism that changes with time (much like us humans). The more the virus spreads, the more chances it has to change or mutate with time. Mutation can alter the virus in three ways – the rate of infection, the severity of the infection and the way in which it bypasses the immune system of the host (in this case, we are talking about us humans).