New ‘double mutant’ coronavirus variant from India detected in UK

James Marshall
April 17, 2021

Boris Johnson's visit to India will still go ahead this month despite concerns about a new variant that emerged in the country.

India has recorded almost 14.3 million coronavirus cases, second only to the United States which has reported more than 31 million infections.

It also led to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson deciding to shorten the length of his India visit later this month, with the bulk of the events now expected to be limited to a day-long packed schedule on April 26.

The two mutations are found in the virus's spike protein.

These are all questions experts will now try to answer about the Indian variant by carrying out experiments in the lab and looking at data on cases in the real world. Contacts not being tested. "We have learnt nothing after a year".

Professor Christina Pagel, professor of operational research at University College London, had previously branded the the prime minister's planned trade trip to India "crazy".

India is now battling a huge surge of COVID, recording the highest overall case numbers in the world. The L452R mutation, on the other hand, helps the virus evade the body's immune response.

"And, as we open more and more, importing a strain becomes a lot more unsafe because it can spread a lot quicker before you notice it".

The latest addition brings the total number of variants detected in the United Kingdom to 56, including the so-called Kent variant and South African strains which is top of the UK's concerns. "And why isn't the govt acting?"

A coronavirus variant with a "double mutation" first identified in India was found in the UK.

Although antibodies induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection are largely protective, they do not completely protect against reinfection in young people, as evidenced through a longitudinal, prospective study of more than 3,000 young, healthy members of the US Marines Corps conducted by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Naval Medical Research Center, published April 15 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. They found that, among the seropositive group, participants who became reinfected had lower antibody levels against the SARS-CoV-2 virus than those who did not become reinfected.

Among the variants of concern are those first detected in Kent, South Africa, and Brazil.

"We don't yet know whether further mutations would make current vaccines useless, this is unlikely. But we don't know that for certain at the moment".

Recruits who tested positive for a new second COVID-19 infection during the study were isolated and the study team followed up with additional testing.

At Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, one of India's largest COVID-only facilities with more than 1,500 beds, unrelated patients are being forced to share beds - while bodies of those who have died lie outside the ward before being taken to the mortuary.

India has recorded almost 14.3 million COVID cases - second only to the USA which has reported more than 31 million.

"As you would expect, safety is obviously important and is a priority for us on this trip, which is why we will make sure that all elements of the visit are Covid-secure".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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