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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Despite COVID Variant Concern, Thousands Of People Are Flying Into UK From India Daily

Covid cases in India are creating havoc, while thousands are losing their lives daily. Identified as the double mutant Covid variant, the Indian Covid variant is deadly and has now reached 17 countries. Yep, the B1617 variant, first detected in India, has spread to at least 17 countries as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). Despite the Covid variant concern, thousands of people are flying in to the UK from India, daily. Three planes almost packed with passengers reached Heathrow Airport from Mumbai and Delhi. The UK only permits British and Irish citizens and those with residence rights including long term visa holders into the country. Infact, the UK has recorded Indian variant Covid cases in 86 districts of the country. This is a matter of grave concern.

Singapore, UK And US Record Cases For India’s Covid Variant

The Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data ( GISAID) has recorded over 1,200 sequences of the variant until April 27 from 17 countries. And most of them were uploaded from India, the UK, the US and Singapore. Greece, Paris and Switzerland have also reported the cases of the new Indian variant.

Amid the rising cases, India now accounts for “38 per cent of global cases reported in the past week. And the Indian variant ( B1617) is named as ‘variant of interest’ instead of a ‘variant of concern’ by the WHO. The British, South African and Brazilian variants of Covid-19 were classified as “variants of concern.”

India Constitutes To 38 Per Cent Of Global Cases 

The B1617 variant has mutations from two distinct virus variants — E484Q and L452R. The variant is partly held responsible for the second and massive resurgence of coronavirus in the country. India is reporting record-breaking cases daily for over a week now. WHO, in its update, also said that B1617 has a higher growth rate than other variants in India. The data also suggest potential increased transmissibility, with varied co-circulating variants demonstrating increased transmissibility.

Other factors that contributed to this massive second wave include mass gatherings, challenges around the implementation and adherence to health measures. We hope that things fall in place in India soon.

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