WHO Classifies India’s COVID-19 Variant as a, Global Health Threat.
India has averaged about 391,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day for the past seven days.
On May 10, an official from the World Health Organization (WHO), Maria Van Kerkhove, spoke about the country's COVID-19 variant, B.1.617.
B.1.617 was previously labeled as a “variant of interest.”.
But Van Kerkhove revealed that the WHO was reclassifying it as a “variant of concern.” .
She also said that preliminary studies on B.1.617 have indicated that it transmits easier and may be able to evade vaccines.
The agency is expected to provide more details on the reclassification in the coming days.
As such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level … Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage in all of the sub lineages, so we need more sequencing, targeted sequencing to be done, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Technical Lead for COVID-19, via CNBC.
The variant’s new label means it has been shown to be more contagious, more deadly and more resistant to available vaccines and treatments.
The U.K., South Africa and Brazil variants are all also designated as “of concern” by the WHO