Indian variant COVID-19 found in at least 53 territories: WHO


The coronavirus variant first detected in India has already been officially registered in 53 territories.

The coronavirus variant first detected in India has already been officially registered in 53 territories, according to a World Health Organization report on Wednesday.

In addition, the WHO has received information from unofficial sources indicating that variant B.1.617 has been found in seven other territories, according to data from the weekly epidemiological update of the United Nations health agency. , bringing the total to 60.

The report said B.1.617 had shown greater transmissibility, while the severity of the disease and the risk of infection were being investigated.

Globally over the past week, the number of new cases and deaths continued to decline, with about 4.1 million new cases and 84,000 new deaths reported, up 14% and 2% respectively, compared to the previous week.

The WHO European region recorded the largest decline in new cases and deaths in the last seven days, followed by the Southeast Asian region.

The number of cases reported by the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and the western Pacific region was similar to that recorded the previous week.

“Despite the global downward trend over the past four weeks, the incidence of cases and deaths from COVID-19 remains high and substantial increases have been observed in many countries around the world,” the paper states.

The highest number of new cases in the last seven days was reported in India (1,846,055, 23% less); Brazil (451,424, 3% more); Argentina (213,046, 41% more), the United States (188,410, 20% less) and Colombia (107,590, 7% less).

Detection of variants

The update provided information on the four mutations classified as variants of concern: those first reported in Britain (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), Brazil (P.1 ) and India (B.1.617).

By counting the total number of territories that reported each variant, the WHO added those of which it had official and unofficial information.

B.1.1.7 has now been reported in 149 territories; B.1.351 in 102 territories and P.1 in 59 territories.

The WHO divided the figures for variant B.1.617 into three lineages (B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3).

The first has been reported in a total of 41 territories, the second in 54 and the third in six: Britain, Canada, Germany, India, Russia and the United States.

Together, the lineages of variant B.1.617 were officially recorded in 53 territories and unofficially in another seven.

The update also lists six variants of interest that are being monitored.

One was first discovered in several countries, two of them were first found in the United States, while the other three were first discovered in Brazil, the Philippines, and France.

“An evolution of the virus is expected, and the more SARS-CoV-2 circulates, the more opportunities it has to evolve,” the report states.

“Reducing transmission through established and proven disease control methods … are crucial aspects of the overall strategy to reduce the occurrence of mutations that have negative implications for public health.”

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