In the last 24 hours, the country saw the largest spike in coronavirus cases with over 2 lakh new reported cases. Vaccination in India is also taking place at a fast pace. Amidst all this, a new mutant of the virus has become everyone's concern. The new variant of Covid called the 'double mutant virus' has raised many queries. Variants of this mutation have been found in about 5 states of the country. What is the double mutant virus strain and should you be worried about it? Doctors working at renowned healthcare facilities answer such queries in a pannel conducted by India TV:
What is a double mutant virus?
Lately, the double mutat virus is creating havoc. Last week, it classified as the “B.1.617” variant. Reportedly, the B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV-2 carries two mutations namely, E484Q and L452R. These have been separately found in many other coronavirus variants, however, in India, they have been reported together for the first time. The double mutant virus is proving to be more dangerous there is a constant change in its genetic structure. Reportedly, 17 mutations occurred in the UK variant. The virus changes the spike protein markers and attacks organs. It also spreads at a much faster rate.
With such sharp rise, have we seen the worst?
According to Dr Jaleel Parkar of Leelavati Hospital, Mumbai is yet to see the worse. According to him, it will take another 15 to 30 days for the virus to slow down. After that, the steep curve will be seen as a plateau followed by a downward curve. According to almost everyone will get infected from virus, sooner or later and we should be prepared for it. He explains that the vaccine will save us from the severity of coronavirus but it doesn't make you immune to it.
Taking a cue from the 100 year old Spanish flu pandemic, Dr Padma Srivastava of AIIMS explains that there were three waves of the deadly virus, the second one being the most severe. She says a similar pattern can be observed with coronavirus as well. She explains that the coronavirus is rising in the country but the rising numbers are not uniform geographically. As per her, Maharashtra is seeing the peak and according to some mathematical model predictions states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal are yet to see the worse. Therefore waves will be different in different parts of the country. It may still take several months for India to come out of this, this is why we must use our experience from last year and prevent the third wave.
Why is double mutant virus spreading at such a rapid rate?
According to CSIR DG Dr Shekhar Mande, double mutants is spreading rapidly for several reasons. The biggest reason is the negligence of the people. Secondly, according to him, the virus spreads more in closed rooms where ventilation is less as compared to open spaces. The third reason may be the UK strain, but there is no confirmation about it yet. "We are constantly researching it. Results will be revealed in 10-12 days," he told India TV.
Meanwhile, new strain of Covid19 infection is spreading among young people. Click here to know things to keep in mind in order to safeguard yourself