A new variant of the virus called N440K has been detected in the 11 districts in Kerala. This new variant is associated with immune evasion and is likely to result in another Covid-19 wave through the state.
The Union Health Ministry has set up a group of 10 national laboratories called the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) which has found the 771 variants of concern (VOC) and a new ‘double variant’ of the coronavirus.
Out of these new variants, the N440K has been detected in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India. Sixteen other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Singapore and Japan, have also reported this variant. Reportedly, the N440K variant comes ‘under investigation’ category.
According to reports, the N440K variant can infect anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 previously. Also, the antibodies of the previous Covid infection cannot prevent this variant from infecting the person.
INSACOG collected 2,032 samples from 14 districts and found that the N440K variant in 123 samples from 11 districts of Kerala. The same variant is also found in 33% of samples from Andhra Pradesh and in 53 of the 104 samples from Telangana.
According to reports, experts said that the public must continue to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines, wear masks, wash hands regularly and maintain social distancing. The experts have also pointed out that people must continue getting vaccinated irrespective of the coronavirus mutations.
On Wednesday, Kerala has seen a slight increase in cases with 2,456 new Covid-19 cases. Kerala also reported 2,060 recoveries and 10 deaths. The state’s Test Positivity Rate is at 4.33%.
Meanwhile, India continues to witness a rise in cases as it reported 53,476 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours. The Union Health Ministry also said that the country reported 26,490 recoveries and 251 deaths. The Health Ministry said that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat are accounting for 77.44% of new Covid-19 cases.
India is likely to see a further surge in cases with the Assembly elections held in four states and a Union Territory. Medical experts are reiterating that people must continue to follow Covid-19 guidelines and take precautions to avoid getting infected.