India is now the country with the second most cases of COVID-19 in the world, following Brazil. In total, there are already 14,291,917 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India, with the highest daily case record reaching more than 200,000 on April 15, 2021.
This condition forces the Indian government to shut down the export tap for the COVID-19 vaccine. India, which is known to be one of the largest producers of the COVID-19 vaccine in the world, has even had to import vaccines to meet domestic needs.
Experts say the incidence of crowds at large events, such as general elections and religious festivals, is a driving factor for the spike in COVID-19 cases .
In addition, it is also called a factor for the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant called B1617. The B1617 variant is also known as the dual mutant variant because it was detected to have two key mutations that were never previously reported to coexist in other variants.
The National Institute of Virology (NIV) last weekend revealed data showing variant B1617 was detected in 220 samples or about 61 percent of the samples that were subjected to genomic sequencing tests.
Microbiologist Dr Gangandeep Kang from Christian Medical Colleg said there is likely a link between the new variant and the spike in COVID-19 cases in India. It’s just that it’s back again to get an accurate conclusion, at least the sample examined reaches one percent of all COVID-19 cases.
“We have to see how many people this variant can infect, what is the limit of the RT-PCR cycle. There needs to be direct tracking. The data taken this January, the value is not very useful in April,” commented Kang as quoted by Indian. Express, Friday (16/4/2021).