A variant of the COVID-19 virus found in India, B.1.617, has been classified as “worrying”, the World Health Organization announced on Monday, especially as it is more contagious.
“There is information that B.1.617 is more contagious,” but there is also evidence that it makes vaccines less effective, so “so we classify it as a variant of global concern,” said Dr. Maria van Kerkhov. Kovid-19 inside the WHO.
The scientist explained that more details would be published in the UN agency’s weekly epidemiological report on Tuesday, but much research was needed on this variant, especially through increased sequencing, “to find out how much the virus transmits” but the degree of “severity” also increases the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“We have nothing to suggest at this point that our diagnostics, our medications and our vaccines are not working. And it’s very important,” she stressed, adding that we must continue to take health measures such as social distance, wearing a mask, reducing contact.
The reduced effectiveness of the vaccine does not mean that it does not exhibit protective action against more severe forms of COVID-19 and prevents mortality.
“We continue to look at the variations that are worrying and we must do everything we can to limit transmission, limit infections, prevent infections and reduce the severity of the disease,” she stressed.
This variant is one reason – but not the only one – which explains the pandemic outbreak in India and the worst hub of the pandemic in the world today.
According to official statistics, 4,000 people die every day from COVID-19 in India, where the total number of infections is close to 250,000.
Many experts consider these figures to be less than factual, citing specific data from cemeteries.
There are now a lot of unaccounted for victims, the current epidemic is that there is a shortage of hospitals in rural areas, outside the big cities, and their registers are not kept up to date.