Indian variant cases with a “double mutant” expression have cropped up in the UK, igniting concern amongst health authorities. The variant, otherwise known as B.1.617, has fuelled the recent outbreak in India, now causing daily caseloads of more than 200,000. While the total number of cases in the UK haven’t yet exceeded one-hundredth of this, they have prompted a testing spree.
Where has the Indian variant been found in the UK?
While India is now on the UK’s travel red list, hundreds of cases have filtered in.
Public Health England (PHE) has detected 132, spread through the home nations.
Most have propagated in England, with 119 there so far, 55 of which testers reported yesterday.
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The triple mutant is a variant of “interest” rather than “concern” and is so far less understood.
Speaking to New Delhi Television (NDTV), Madhukar Pai, professor of epidemiology at McGill University, said scientists would need to “keep tweaking” vaccines.
He said: “This is a more transmissible variant. It is making lots of people sick very quickly. We have to keep tweaking vaccines.
“For that, we need to understand the disease. But we need sequencing on war footing.”