By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): The variant of COVID-19 first identified in India - B.1.617.2 - is infectious and there are chances that this variant may become dominant in other countries, a senior scientist has said.
"This B.1.617.2 was the variant that emerged in October and November last year in India and became a major variant during this wave in February-March," said Dr Rakesh Mishra, Advisor, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
Dr Mishra said B.1617 variant has three lineages - B.1617.1 , B.1617.2, and B.1617.3.
"Out of these, B.1.617.2 is becoming more infectious. This infects more and is the dominating one in the country. It's the strongest variant in terms of infectivity," he said.
Experts have said that countries like the UK are closely monitoring the movement of the sub-lineages of B.1.617.2 variant of COVID-19.
Dr Mishra said that in states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka, there were several cases of B.1.617.2.
"This strain has reached almost 48 countries and there are chances that this variant may become dominant in other countries," Dr Mishra said, adding that B.1.617.2 strain has been found at airports in the country.
He said it is important to break the chain as viruses mutate and "there can be a nastier variant".
Dr Mishra said health experts and scientists expect a third wave of COVID-19 going by the way the way coronavirus is mutating and its extent will depend on variants.
"New variants will emerge, we can't certainly control but things that are important are vaccination, social distancing, testing, tracking, and isolation," he added. (ANI)