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NEW DELHI -In samples of the coronavire that may “evade immune response” and require more studies, a leader of the forum told the authorities about minor mutations in a forum of Scientist advisers set up by the Indian Government.

But the advisers said that there was no reason at present to think they were increasing or could be dangerous while flagging the mutations.Scientists are investigating what caused the current spike in cases in India, especially whether a variant called B1617, which was first discovered in the country, is to blame.

India Scientists Discovered Virus Mutations
Image Source: Reuters

The Indian version has not been designated as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, as it has been for variants discovered in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa. However, the WHO said on Tuesday (April 27) that preliminary analysis based on genome sequencing indicated that B1617 had a faster growth rate than other variants circulating in India. The Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium, or Insacog, has discovered additional mutations in the coronavirus that it believes should be closely monitored.
“We are seeing some mutation coming up in some samples that could possibly evade immune responses,” said Dr Shahid Jameel, chair of the scientific advisory group of Insacog and a top Indian virologist.

He did not say if the mutations have been seen in the Indian variant or any other strain.

“Unless you culture those viruses and test them in the lab, you can’t say for sure. At this point, there is no reason to believe that they are expanding or if they can be dangerous, but we flagged it so that we keep our eye on the ball,” he said.

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Insacog is a consortium of ten national research laboratories.

For the first time on Saturday, India registered over 400,000 new Covid-19 incidents.

Infections have wreaked havoc on the country’s health system, with medical oxygen and hospital beds in short supply in areas like the capital, New Delhi.
Source: Reuters

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