Covid-19. Is the Indian alternative the cause of the crisis?


Two mutations of SARS-CoV-2 It was first found in India A month ago when the country began to suffer from the wonder Recovery in cases Overburdening your healthcare system, yet experts are cautious in assigning responsibility The second wave of this dynasty.

Mutations Alternative B.1.617Known K. ‘Double mutant’ The “triple mutant”, which we have never seen before anywhere else in the world, was arranged by the India Genome Consortium SARS-CoV-2 (INSACOG), made up of 10 national laboratories to analyze the behavior of the virus.

This discovery coincided with the startling start of the second wave of the Coronavirus in the country of 1,350 million people, which is doubling every day. More than 300 thousand new infectionsAnd caused the escalation of the cases attributed to him.

Photo: AP / Ajit Solanki

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INSACOG, which since the start of its investigations last December identified hundreds of variants among the Indian samples, stresses that “the current data do not indicate that the increase is due only to one variable or one factor in particular.”

For the consortium, the reasons for the sudden increase are mainly due to Failure to comply with appropriate COVID-19 behaviors, “Increased immune escape mutations, some of which increase infection”, and “decreased immunity.”

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Diverse from India, dominant

between the More than 15 thousand tests 135 Analyzed by the Federation of Laboratories, there is a variant with a greater presence in the samples collected across the country: B.1.1.7 from the United Kingdom.

In the samples, which equates to 1% of confirmed cases, there are about 1,600 positive cases for the British variant (B 1.1.7). In addition to more than 100 samples from The South African alternative (B.1.351), about 11% of the detected variants were imported, researcher Rajib Dasgupta told Efe.

Photo: Sanjay Kanujia / AFP

The variation of the virus that originated in India is in less than 5% of the tests analyzed, 732 samples.

Mutations of this original variant indicate that it is more transmissible and that it contains The ability to escape immunity, Although scholars have yet to reach a consensus.

According to the medical researcher’s opinion, the fact that the Indian variant, which has been circulating in the country since last October, has a smaller presence than the British one could give evidence that the Indian mutation is less transmissible.

Moreover, the presence of breeds is not uniform across the country, with a greater presence of one or the other in different regions.

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While in Western State Maharashtra, The most affected by the epidemic, 35% of the specimens with variants are consistent with the Indian ancestry, the proportion in New Delhi rises to 50% of the British and the other half due to the different Indian mutations.

Likewise, in northern Punjab, British variant mutations dominate 80% of samples.

Photo: Sanjay Kanujia / AFP

Reasons for the sudden increases in India

However, Dasgupta prefers not to eliminate the possibility that the variants imported or originated in India may have sparked the coronavirus crisis in the Asian country.

“To a large extent, the second wave can be attributed to mutated or variable forms (…) Strains B1.1.7 and B.1.617 They have contributed to the sudden booms in Punjab and Maharashtra states respectively; These two countries account for a third of the cases until the end of March 2021. “

But he said that the fact that this was happening “in the context of abandoning protocols. All kinds of groupings that contribute to the increase in transmission and transmission,” he said.

This could be related to the genome sequencing of the tests in East Bengal, where an election process was conducted that involved mass gatherings and concentrations for weeks, in which samples of all variants were found.


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Fear of the Indian alternative has led many countries to impose veto rights on access for people from the Asian country.

In recent days, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Italy, Kuwait, Oman, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, New Zealand, Bangladesh and the Maldives have suspended flights with India as a safety measure.


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