A new variant of COVID-19 detected


New Delhi: The National Institute of Virology,Pune has detected a new COVID-19 variant – B. through genome sequencing of samples from international travellers from the United Kingdom and Brazil to India.

According to NIV reports the new variant is likely to cause severe symptoms. As per the studies conducted on an infected Syrian hamster, the new variant (B. had induced body weight loss, viral replication in the respiratory tract, lung lesions and severe lung pathology. The study that there’s a necessity of Genomic surveillance and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 variants to understand it’s pathogenicity and immune escape potential for preparedness of counter measures.

Genome sequencing labs are searching for the mutants which are powerful enough to be termed as severely affecting disease transmitters.

Currently, 10 national labs under INSACOG ( Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing Consortia) have sequenced around 30,000 samples. The Govt. is planning to increase genome sequencing and currently added 18 more labs to consortium.

Report by Mimansa Mohanty

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