World in stress due to new mutant Covid strain
Even as the world was ready to take a sigh of relief, a new variant of Covid virus has left countries in a tizzy. The new SARS-CoV-2 variant was revealed to be the reason behind the rapid surge in Covid-19 cases in South and East England. It is being referred to as VUI (Variant Under Investigation) 202012/01, or the B.1.1.7 lineage.
Many governments have banned travel between the UK and home countries including India, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy and Spain.
It is believed that the variant is the result of multiple mutations in the spike protein of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as well as mutations in other genomic regions of the RNA virus. Preliminary analysis suggests that it is more transmissible than previously circulating variants. It is also assumed that the new variant shows more transibility than other variants of the virus. Till now more than 1,000 people have been tested with this new mutant variant.
But this is not the first time the virus has mutated. New variants of Covid were found in the Netherlands, South Africa and Spain too. However, this one transmits the fastest.
India has already registered more than 100 million positive cases and stays behind only the US which has more than 18.3 million cases. Brazil, Russia and France are the three top nations with high numbers of cases.
Vaccination for the virus is underway in the UK, and the government says that the new variant would not affect the drive.