New Delhi, December 24: While the world is struggling to cope up with the COVID-19 outbreak, a new variant of the coronavirus has been detected in the United Kingdoms. Though the same has not been reported in India so far. The government has banned all flights from UK temporarily, owing to the threat of the variant. However, experts believe that the various COVID-19 Vaccines being developed should be effective to fight the new strain as well. Dr Shekhar Mande, Director-General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said, "COVID-19 vaccines being tested and developed should be effective against it," while speaking to NDTV. New Coronavirus Strain Not Seen in India So Far, Unlikely to Impact COVID-19 Vaccines' Efficacy, Says Government.
Adding that the genome sequencing tests being used to detect the mutant strain of the coronavirus takes up to 24 hours. He told that six labs across India are conducting research to detect the new strain of the novel coronavirus. The samples of various passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 post returning from UK have been send to these lab for testing. COVID-19 New Strain: 5 Coronavirus Positive UK Returnees Flee Delhi Airport; One Traced in Ludhiana, Other in Andhra Pradesh, Say Reports.
Dr Mande also said that the vaccines being tested against COVID-19 should be effective against the new virus as well. "Vaccines are very likely to be effective on the mutant strain. Because only a few mutations, about 15-17 of them are there in this strain. Vaccines are made in such a way that it targets the virus in a much bigger way and from many other sides so they will still generate an immune response," he told NDTV.
Taking about the new coronavirus strain, he reportedly said "Some of the mutations found in this strain have also been observed in other geographies like South Africa and Brazil. These mutations happen spontaneously. The ones in South Africa and Brazil were independent of the UK. So this is not an occurrence that is limited to the UK. These mutations can arise in India too."