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Indian virologists find COVID mutations that ‘may avoid immune responses’



On Saturday, the Indian Ministry of Health said the country had registered 401,993 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, marking the biggest daily increase since the outbreak began.

India’s top virologist, Shahid Jamil, has warned of minor mutations in some variants of COVID-19 samples, which he says should be studied more closely.

Jameel, who is also chairman of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics (INSACOG) research advisory group, told Reuters on Sunday that “we [INSACOG scientists] we see some mutations appear in some samples that could avoid the immune response. “

The virologist declined to say whether the mutations were found in the Indian variant or another strain of the coronavirus.

© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUI

Patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-1

9) were monitored in the intensive care unit at Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi, India.

He explained that “if you don’t cultivate these viruses and test them in the lab, you can’t say for sure” about the consequences.

“At the moment, there is no reason to believe that they are expanding or can be dangerous, but we marked it to keep an eye on the ball,” Jamil said.

The remarks come as INSACOG tries to understand what is behind the current significant jump in COVID-19 cases in India and whether B.1.617, a variant first discovered in the country, may be the cause.

So far, the World Health Organization (WHO) has refused to declare the Indian strain a “variant of concern,” but suggests the mutation has had a higher growth rate than others circulating in India.

Embassy of Russia in India

The first batch of Russian vaccine Sputnik V against COVID-19 was delivered on Saturday in the city of Hyderabad in India

Rising coronavirus infections in India have already disrupted the health system in many parts of the country, including the capital, New Delhi, which has been hit by a shortage of medical oxygen and hospital beds.

The country’s health ministry said on Saturday that the total number of those who had tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic had reached 19,164,969. The ministry said the death toll from coronavirus had risen by 3,523 to 211,853 in the last 24 hours.

In a separate development on Saturday, the first batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine was delivered to the Indian city of Hyderabad, more than two weeks after it received an emergency use permit from the national health authorities.

Russia’s ambassador to India, Nikolai Kudashev, has expressed confidence that the delivery of Sputnik V, one of the world’s most effective vaccines against COVID, will help the South Asian country “mitigate the deadly second wave and save lives.”




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