India has infected more than 22 million people and more than 240,000 people have died for the new coronavirus. With the country’s authorities, who seem to be finding it increasingly difficult to contain the pandemic. Most notably, that a second wave was proclaimed in March with around 400,000 new cases and more than 3,500 reported deaths per day. This Saturday, the country’s authorities announced the highest number of deaths per day ever recorded: 4,187. According to the Indian doctor Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a variant in India the world had previously known.
A more “contagious” and perhaps more resistant variant to vaccines
This Saturday, the Indian scientist said in an interview with the international press that the “B.1.617” variant of Covid-19, which was first discovered in India last October, clearly contributed to the disaster in his country of origin. “There have been many accelerators that have led to this condition,” said the 62-year-old. But she added, “The fact that a virus spreads faster is part of it.”
The WHO called the mutation a “variant of concern”. A label indicating that it is more dangerous than the original version of the virus because it “has mutations that increase transmission and which can also potentially make it resistant to antibodies developed through vaccination or natural contamination”. A variant that was able to spread and “accumulate a lot of mutations” mainly due to inattention with regard to preventive measures. A problem that, according to the Indian scientist, would “become global” if nothing was done.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan is part of a global team of 20 experts who form the UK-led New Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) as part of a global effort to save lives from future diseases. The PPP is a public-private partnership that brings together industry, international organizations and leading experts.
The aim is to provide recommendations for faster vaccine development. May also include therapeutics and diagnostics through greater global collaboration in research and development, manufacturing, clinical trials and data sharing.