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Covid-19 Triple Mutant Virus: Coronavirus triple mutant variant to worsen India’s Covid crisis? What we know about ‘Bengal strain’ – 5 points

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What is Triple Mutant Virus, Covid-19 Triple Mutant VirusWhat is Triple Mutant Virus, Covid-19 Triple Mutant VirusA drone shot shows amass cremation of victims who died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a crematorium ground in New Delhi. (Reuters photo)

Covid Triple Mutant Strain in India: India’s healthcare infrastructure stares at an abject breakdown as the second wave of the coronavirus sweep across the nation with record Covid-19 infections and all-time high daily deaths. While experts are still divided over the under-reporting of cases and deaths, the fact remains that India has unfortunately emerged as the epicentre of the worst outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The situation is grimmest in comparison with any nation around the globe. (Coronavirus India Live Updates)

Even the US didn’t see these many cases on daily basis during its peak of the pandemic. While the medical professionals struggle to keep up with the spike, there is a new development that may worsen India’s Covid crisis. After the discovery of the Indian variant of the coronavirus, which is also known as a double mutant, researchers say that they have found a triple mutant of the virus that may completely change the way we understand the fresh surge of the Covid cases in India.

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What exactly is triple mutant of coronavirus? Your cheatsheet

  • 1: So, what’s a triple mutant? For understanding this, you must know what a double mutant of the coronavirus is. In simple terms, the virus has the nature to mutate or change its structure depending on the scale of transmission. So, the more the virus spreads, the more it will mutate. Since the discovery of the novel coronavirus in China’s Wuhan, the virus has spread around the globe with unmatched ferocity. In the UK, Brazil and South Africa, the researchers spotted new variants of the virus, which have been named after the place of the discovery.
  • 2: Now coming back home, Indian scientists have also been researching the genome sequencing of the virus. According to an Indian Express report, the Indian researchers had discovered the Indian variant of the virus back in October last year. Scientifically known as B.1.617 – the Indian variant of the coronavirus has two kinds of mutations – L452R and E484Q.
  • 3: This mutant has been dominant in all surge states such as Maharashtra, Delhi and Chhattisgarh. Now, the scientists say that the virus has mutated further and has three types of mutations – hence the name triple mutant. It is scientifically known as B.1.618.
  • 4: Vinod Scaria, a scientist working at the New Delhi-based Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), took to Twitter on April 20 to talk about the triple mutant, which is now being called the ‘Bengal strain’ of the coronavirus. In his Twitter thread, Scaria said that the ‘sequence’ of the mutant’s lineage were found mainly in West Bengal. While more research is being done to understand the link between the discovery of the triple mutant and the new surge in viral infections, the main point is that this mutant is not only highly transmissible, it may also escape any sort of immune barrier.
  • 5: As researchers in India and around the world focus on this new variant, it is important for the government to provide adequate funds. The above mentioned Indian Express report had also given details about how the scientists were forced to work on genome sequencing on the limited funds.

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