Genome Sequencing Finds New ‘Double Mutant Variant’ of Covid-19 as India Gets Set to Battle Fresh Wave
Amid a second wave of Covid-19 cases in India, genome sequencing by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) shows variants of concern and a novel variant in India, the government of India has said. The consortium said on Wednesday that the novel ‘double mutation variant’ of the SARS-CoV-2 was found in Maharashtra.
However, the government has said the new double mutant variant has so far not been found in numbers sufficient enough to establish a link with the surge in Covid-19 cases in several states.
The government also said that analysis of Covid-19 samples from Maharashtra has revealed that compared to December 2020, there has been an increase in the fraction of samples with the E484Q and L452R mutations. These mutations confer immune escape and increased infectivity.
According the the statement by the INSACOG, that among 2,032 samples from Kerala, the N440K variant that is associated with immune escape has been found in 123 samples from 11 districts. While these variants were found in samples from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, these have also been found in other counties like UK, Australia and Singapore.