Indian Double Mutant COVID Strain Detected in China

China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the double mutant COVID-19 strain from India has been detected in several cities.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that the Indian B.1.617 variant strain was found in “…some cities in my country, and everyone is very concerned, and also worried,” but did not state which.

The WHO reported last Tuesday that the B.1.617 variant of COVID-19 had been detected in over 1,200 sequences “from at least 17 countries” that had been uploaded to the GISAID open-access database but did not mention China. 

Health officials in Zhejiang, a coastal province in China recently reported 11 cases of “imported” COVID-19 infections from India from cargo ship crew members who were believed to have passed by the Indian port of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh before docking in the Zhoushan port.

Zhejiang health officials did not clarify whether the Chinese crew members were infected with the Indian B.1.617 variant strain.

Wu said the spread of the new variant could be contained and that COVID will keep on mutating until the end of the pandemic. 

“Implementing containment measures is crucial both to stop the spread of the mutant strains and to prevent the occurrence of a new mutation,” added Wu. 

 As of Wednesday, there were 20 confirmed COVID cases in China that were said to have come from abroad. 

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