| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

British officials to warn over Indian coronavirus variant, reports reveal

According to the BBC and Guardian on Friday, British officials may declare one of the latest coronavirus strains first discovered in India a “variant of concern” due to evidence that it spreads faster than the original version of the virus.

According to the BBC, scientists and doctors have suggested that one variant of the variant first discovered in India, known as B.1.617.2, be designated as a “variant of concern” since it appears to be spreading more rapidly in the UK than other variants.

The original India variant, B.1.617, was first detected in October, but Public Health England (PHE) has categorized three different subtypes, all with slightly different mutations.

While B.1.617.2 seems to be as transmissible as the Kent variant which fueled much of Britain’s second COVID-19 wave, there is no evidence it is resistant to current vaccines, the BBC said, citing a source.

Other variants of concern include variants first identified in Kent, south-east England, as well as South Africa and Brazil.

Weekly variant data, which was due on Thursday, was delayed due to a “processing problem,” according to Public Health England (PHE), though the Guardian reported that the update was delayed due to local elections.

The reports elicited no immediate response from PHE.

  • Reuters