The Indian Variant likely to be declared ‘Variant of Concern’

The Indian Variant (B.1.617) that was first detected within the UK on the 22nd February 2021, is likely to be considered a ‘Variant of Concern’ according to reports.

Currently, The Indian Variant has over 400 cases across the UK, and makes up 10% of Covid cases in London and despite numbers being relatively low, its status as ‘Variant under Investigation’ is highly likely to be changed on Friday

If changed to a ‘Variant of Concern’, a response from PHE (Public Health England) would suggest ordering surge testing, similar to the South African variant.

The strain – B1.617.2 – is one of three related variants first seen in India which have been detected in the UK and designated “under investigation” by PHE.

The other two are the B1.617.1 and B1.617.3.

The most recent data by PHE, confirm 193 cases of the B1617.1 variant, up by 61 since the last update on April 21.

The B1.617.2 variant shows 202 cases, and the B1.617.3 variant shows just five cases.

According to internal documents from PHE, dated to May 5 and seen by The Guardian, the ongoing risk to public health from the variant subtype B1617.2 is “high”.

Dr Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist and senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, told The Guardian that “at the current doubling rate (B1617.2) could easily become dominant in London by the end of May or early June”.

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Featured image: Photo by Giacomo Carra on Unsplash

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