Indian coronavirus mutation is more contagious and appears to be resistant to Covid-19 vaccines, exacerbating the pandemic outbreak in India, warned Dr.. Sumia Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization.
For the first time yesterday Saturday, India recorded over 4.000 dead due to Covid-19 in 24 hours and more than 400.000 new infections, but experts call these official accounts undervalued.
In an interview given to the French Agency, Swaminathan, an Indian pediatrician and researcher, stated that variant B.1.617, which was first detected in India in October, is undoubtedly a factor accelerating the pandemic that is out of control in the second most populous country in the world.
This variant could be classified by the WHO in the list of variants that are considered more dangerous than the original version of the virus, due to its higher transmissibility, its ability to overcome the defenses provided by vaccination and due to the mortality rates of infected patients, estimated the scientist.
Variant B.1.617 "has mutations that increase transmission and that may also make it resistant to antibodies developed by vaccination or natural infection", explained.
However, the variant alone can not be blamed for the dramatic increase in cases in India, which seems to have calmed down very quickly, allowing "mass gatherings", write down.
In a crowded country like India, infections can spread silently for months. "These initial signs were not detected until the transmissions reached a point where the eruption was abrupt.".
Currently, It is very difficult to fight the virus "because the pandemic affects thousands of people and multiplies at a rate that is very difficult to stop", said Dr. Swaminathan, warning that vaccination alone will not be enough to regain control of the condition.
India, the largest producer of vaccines in the world, has so far administered two doses just at 2% of its population, numbering 1,3 billions.
"It will take months, if not years, to reach a percentage 70 up to 80% ”of the immunized population, according to the researcher.
In the near future, it will be necessary to build on social and health measures that have already been tested and shown to reduce the spread of the virus, he added.
And the scale of the epidemic in India increases the risk of even more dangerous new variants.
"The more the virus reproduces, spreads and is transmitted, the greater the risk of mutations and adaptation ", underlined the scientist. "Variations that accumulate a large number of mutations may eventually become resistant to the vaccines currently available to us.".
"It will be a problem for the whole world", concluded.