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‘Worse Than Delta’: New heavily mutated Covid variant triggers alert in India

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date
‘Worse Than Delta’: New heavily mutated Covid variant triggers alert in India

New Delhi: Experts have claimed that a new variant of coronavirus which has emerged in Botswana is the most mutated version of the deadly virus found so far.

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Although only 10 infections have been detected so far, the variant has already been recorded in three countries, suggesting it is more widespread. Expected to be given the name “Nu”, the strain carries 32 mutations, many of which suggest it is highly transmissible and vaccine-resistant, and has more alterations to its spike protein than any other variant

Scientists have warned that the variant could be more infectious than Delta and more resistant to current vaccines. Dr Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College, said the combination of mutations found in the Botswana variant is ‘horrific’. He added that B.1.1.529, the scientific name of Botswana variant, could be be ‘worse than nearly anything else about.”

Meanwhile, researchers in South Africa are racing to track the concerning rise of the new variant which harbours a large number of mutations and seems to be spreading quickly across South Africa.

A top priority is to track the variant more closely as it spreads: it was first identified in Botswana this month and has turned up in travellers to Hong Kong from South Africa. Scientists are also trying to understand the variant’s properties, such as whether it can evade immune responses triggered by vaccines and whether it causes more or less severe disease than other variants do.

Also Read :- China fights biggest Delta outbreak as cases grow in city of Dalian

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