In a study undertaken by the Indian SARS – CoV-2 consortium of genomics. This consortium established by the Health Ministry has been working on the genomic sequencing and analysis of the Covid -19 virus.
Genomic variants of various viruses are a natural phenomenon and are found in almost all countries.
According to the study initiated in December 2020, 771 variants have been found in a total of 10787 positive samples from 18 states across India. The study shows that of these 771 variants 736 samples positive for viruses from UK, 34 samples were found positive for viruses of the South African lineage and 1 sample was found positive for viruses of the Brazilian (P.1) lineage.
The study conducted on samples from Maharashtra also revealed that compared to December 2020, there has been an increase in mutations. These mutations have been found in about 15-20% of samples and do not match any previously documented strains. Further testing and tracking is required however these mutations do suggest an “immune escape” and increased infectivity.
2032 samples from 14 districts in Kerala show that one variant N440K is associated with immune escape has been found in 123 samples from 11 districts. The same variant was also found in 33% of samples from Andhra Pradesh, and in 53 of 104 samples from Telangana. This variant has also been reported from 16 other countries including UK, Denmark, Singapore, Japan and Australia. As of now these can be at best said to be variant under investigation.
Though other strains and a new double mutant variant have been found in India, these have not been detected in numbers sufficient to either establish or direct relationship or explain the rapid increase in cases in some States.
Source : Ministry of Health (India)