Data Shows ‘Double Mutant’ Most Common COVID Strain in India Now

The Quint
·2-min read

The 'double mutant' COVID strain may have become the most prevalent strain in the recent cases of infection across India.

Citing an analysis of genome sequencing data submitted by Indian scientists in a global open database, a report in Hindustan Times said that, at 24 percent, it was the most common strain detected in samples surveyed in the 60 days prior to 2 April.

The B.1.617 strain, also popularly referred to as the "double mutation" strain, was first detected on 5 October 2020, and it started showing up more frequently since January 2021.

It was initially found in a large number of samples in Maharashtra, which had become the first hot spot in the second wave of infections.

Also Read: COVID-19 Mutations & Variants of Concern: All You Should Know

The report also said that this “double mutation” variant accounted for 80 percent of all analysed genome sequences of mutant variants sent by India to the global repository GISAID, while the second most-commonly found variant in the last 60 days was the UK variant, or B.1.1.7, at 13 percent of the samples, as per assessment conducted by scientists from Scripps Research.

Earlier in March, genome sequencing of virus samples led by Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), showed the presence of two mutations, E484Q and L452R together, in at least 200 virus samples from Maharashtra.

This analysis on the prevalence of the double mutation comes at a time when there’s been a worrying spike of cases across India. However, it’s not yet been ascertained whether the mutation is responsible for the increased cases or if it reduces the efficacy of the vaccines.

As India added over 2 lakh new fresh cases in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra remains one of the worst-affect state followed by Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Delhi is the worst affected city currently with 17,282 new cases in the last 24 hours.

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