WHO: Indian COVID Variant Has Spread to 17 Countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that the double mutant COVID-19 variant, which was first detected in India, has spread to at least 17 countries.

The UN health agency said the B.1.617 variant of COVID-19 been detected in over 1,200 sequences uploaded to the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) open-access database “from at least 17 countries.” “Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, USA, and Singapore,” WHO said.

The WHO recently listed the variant — which counts several sub-lineages with slightly different mutations and characteristics — as a “variant of interest”. India has reported 360,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday alone, having a total of 18 million cases.

India has so far inoculated 150 million vaccine shots and starting on Saturday the program will be expanded to including all adults.


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