For a couple of weeks, it seems everything’s settling down and COVID-19 will never return. Governments slowly let down the guard and furthermore ease many of the measures. No more restrictions, limits, and concerns! Well, it seems it’s not exactly like that. As the deadly Indian variant hits back In UK, people get confused. We start trying to figure out whether to take off masks and stop social distancing. So, what’s the story behind the B. 1. 617, also known as the Indian variant?
In conclusion, we can assume it’s another COVID-19 variant to talk about. People first mentioned it in Maharashtra, India on 5 October 2020. This COVID-19 strain is about to become dominant in the UK in a few days. It has 3 sub-lineages and each of them has absolutely different mutations. WHO defined it as a variant of concern on 11th May, UK labeled B.617.2 on 6 May. Despite consecutive numbers, B.1.617.3 was spotted in October. B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 emerged later in December. By transmissibility it’s close to B.1.1.7 and scientists refer to it as a double mutant. It is named after the nature of gene encoding. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein it contains presents 2 mutations altogether causing the substitutions E484Q and L452R.
On Monday, Matt Hancock stated 483 cases were in Bolton, Sefton, and Blackburn and all age groups had it. While B.617.2 is 50 % more transmissible than the Kent variant, it’s not unexpected we observe 50 cases of it in Wales. First Minister, Mr. Drakeford confirmed B.1.617.2 attacks mostly urban centers like Newport, Cardiff, and Swansea. To stop the spread, the UK government initiates a surge testing and vaccination in the affected areas. The existing vaccines are effective enough, but still, authorities suggest a turbo-boost. The ease of restrictions is doubtful because it’s unpredictable if B.1.617.2 will meet the 21 June target.
Sharing common concerns, Downing Street called a press conference on Friday 14 May. It then expanded measures for people over 50 and the clinically vulnerable to 8 weeks after the first dose, up from 12. People over 40 are also prioritized for a first dose. Officials sent a rapid response team of 100 nurses, public health advisers, and environmental health officers. Johnson said the army will be set on the streets of Blackburn and Bolton, equipped with COVID-19 tests. Due to the emergency, the vaccination centers will also work with extended hours. However, a finite supply of doses makes it hard to pursue a local surge vaccination.
With triggering a stronger immune response, the government will certainly curb rising infections.
UK prevented itself from future variants, in a deal with biopharmaceutical company CureVac. It pre-ordered 50 million doses of currently developed COVID-19 vaccines.
For India, the situation escalates and gets worse. They intensively experience 2 COVID-19 waves and red light is signaling out of control. The deadly Indian variant hits back in the UK, more fierce and threatening to rule over the country. Some suggestions speculate this could be now turning into an even bigger global crisis. Whether true or false, only time will tell. Gradually, we spent too much on believing fake news that never happened.
MVS Pharma GmbH is an innovative pharmaceutical start-up company, which researches in the area of reducing viruses and bacteria with plant based aerosols. Their special formula ensures the purity and stability of the used ingredients during storage.
Liliya Ganeva is an article writer, who explores all the actual, up-to-date COVID-19 information, and the possibilities for producing aerosols made out of plants against respiratory viruses and bacteria.