Mutant COVID variant might be already present in many countries; says WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

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WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has recently said that the newly mutated COVID variant might have already spread to other countries. On a positive note, the scientist also mentioned that the new strain of virus need not necessarily nullify the effect of the currently developed COVID vaccine.

the new virus need not nullify the immune response of the currently available COVID 19 vaccine, says Dr. Soumya Swaminathan; chief scientist WHO

Alarming new mutant virus

The United Kingdom has lately reported an alarming new mutant variety of COVID virus that has been recorded to be more virulent than its predecessor. In response to this new virus, almost all major nations of the world have immediately terminated air transport from the country. And yet, WHO chief scientist and pediatrician; Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has said that the virus must have already spread across countries and we might be just ignorant about it.

New COVID strain has the tendency to spread at an increased 70% more efficiency

Too early

While responding to an interview for NDTV; the scientist said that it was ‘too early’ to draw conclusions about the newly mutated COVID virus named B.1.1.7. Also, a current couple of mutations in the virus need not alter the immune force generated by the currently present COVID vaccine she said.

lock down has been declared in some places of hot spots in London

Genome sequencing

“The UK is one of those countries that is doing a lot of whole genome sequencing and is, therefore, able to track this very closely in real-time. I suspect that as more countries look at their data, they might find this variant, or a related variant, might already be there,” she told NDTV.

In order to develop better vaccines, she advised the countries to start genome sequencing. Also in the context of India, she said that “India has a huge capacity to do whole genome sequencing. In fact, India is already contributing quite a lot to a global database that has close to 300,000 sequences,”

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Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has advised the countries to practice genome sequencing to establish newer vaccines for COVID

End the transmission chain

Proper caution must be taken in isolating the infected people to stop the transmission chain and to curb the virus from further spreading.

People should support the government in terminating transmission chains

Discussion panel on 28th December

The new novel COVID virus has spread from southeast London since November and is expected to have been transferred to other parts as well. Also, 30 countries including India have banned air transport from the UK and those who have returned recently will be subjected to testing. The government has also found a few people who have been infected by the virus on Tuesday. And the government will discuss the treatment plans along with the CM of Tamil Nadu on 28th December.

discussion committee to be established on 28th December in Tamil Nadu between the health and sanitary services of the state along with the CM; Mr. Edapadi K Palaniswamy

What do you feel about the new COVID virus? Will India sustain the new wave?

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