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COVID-19 Explainer: What Is The New Covid Variant “Mu”? WHO Warns It Could Be More Resistant To Vaccines

Mu variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Colombia and has been reported in other South American countries and in Europe. As of now, no cases of Mu variant have been reported in India

हिन्दी में पढ़े
COVID-19 Explainer: What Is The New Covid Variant "Mu”? WHO Warns It Could Be More Resistant To Vaccines
Highlights
  • Mu variant was first identified in Columbia
  • The variant has been identified as variant of interest by WHO
  • As of now, no cases of Mu variant have been reported in India

New Delhi: World Health Organisation has designated a new coronavirus strain known as “Mu”, which was first identified in Colombia in January, as a variant of interest on Tuesday (September 1). After being detected in Colombia, Mu, has since been reported in other South American countries and in Europe.

Also Read: The Kerala And Delhi Factor: How Can We Tame The Third Covid Wave? Experts Explain

Here’s what we know about the new strain:

  • The Mu variant is scientifically known as B.1.621. It was classified as a variant of interest in August 2021
  • According to WHO, Mu variant’s global prevalence has declined to below 0.1 percent among sequenced cases. However, in Colombia, it is at 39 percent
  • WHO also said that the variant has mutations that indicate a risk of resistance to vaccines and stressed that further studies were needed to better understand it

Also Read: Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections Found In 25 Per Cent Healthcare Staff: Study

Has India Reported Any Cases Of Mu Variant?

Along with Mu variant, which has already been classified by the WHO, another variant C.1.2 has also been detected in the world by the South African scientist. C.1.2 is not a single virus but a clustering of genetically similar viruses, it is not classified as either a variant of interest or a variant of concern by the WHO. None of these variants has been detected in India as of now.

Also Read: No Case Of C.1.2 Covid Variant In India So Far, Say Government Sources

Why New Variants Of COVID-19 Are Emerging?

WHO says that all viruses – including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 – evolve over time. It adds, when a virus replicates or makes copies of itself, it sometimes changes a little bit, which is normal for a virus. These changes are called “mutations”. A virus with one or more new mutations is referred to as a “variant” of the original virus.

What Causes A Virus To Change To A New Variant?

According to WHO, when a virus is widely circulating in a population and causing many infections, the likelihood of the virus mutating increases. The more opportunities a virus has to spread, the more it replicates – and the more opportunities it has to undergo changes.

WHO and healthcare experts recommend same protective measures to help stop COVID19 and its new variants:

  • Washing hands
  • Staying at least 1 metre apart
  • Wearing masks
  • Limiting time in or avoiding enclosed/crowded spaces

What Experts Have To Say About COVID-19 New Variants

Dr Aviral Vatsa, Physician, NHS, Scotland, UK says,

We need to remember that the more the transmission is, more chances of new variants emerging, and spreading. So, if a country has high rate of infections, then it is a cause of great concern.

Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, Epidemiologist and Health Systems specialist, said,

Currently, there are certain things, which we don’t have answers for. Things like the natural immunity among people against the virus and how fast or slow it will decline and what all new variants will emerge in the near future. Since we cannot do much about these factors the only thing in our hand is the first two options – follow the Covid appropriate behaviour and getting vaccinated. Currently, these two tools are the key in fighting this battle against the virus.

Also Read: Covid Breakthrough Cases Within Expected Numbers, Says Government Panel

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  

World

24,24,98,327Cases
20,40,54,102Active
3,35,14,449Recovered
49,29,776Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,24,98,327 and 49,29,776 have died; 20,40,54,102 are active cases and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 5:24 am.

India

3,41,43,236 15,786Cases
1,75,7453,086Active
3,35,14,449 18,641Recovered
4,53,042 231Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,43,236 confirmed cases including 4,53,042 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,75,745 and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,98,218 1,573

27,899 1,434

64,30,394 2,968

1,39,925 39

Kerala

48,88,523 8,733

82,093 1,240

47,79,228 9,855

27,202 118

Karnataka

29,84,849 365

9,017 86

29,37,848 443

37,984 8

Tamil Nadu

26,91,797 1,164

13,790 268

26,42,039 1,412

35,968 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,62,303 493

5,500 66

20,42,476 552

14,327 7

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,068 10

107 5

16,87,062 14

22,899 1

West Bengal

15,83,646 833

7,535 44

15,57,090 775

19,021 14

Delhi

14,39,488 22

311 1

14,14,087 21

25,090

Odisha

10,37,056 524

4,336 51

10,24,422 573

8,298 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,773 38

206 21

9,91,995 16

13,572 1

Rajasthan

9,54,395 2

36 2

9,45,405 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,353 13

156 20

8,16,110 33

10,087

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,721 12

88 6

7,82,110 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,125 9

131 2

7,60,945 11

10,049

Bihar

7,26,042 6

30 0

7,16,351 6

9,661

Telangana

6,69,739 183

3,967 1

6,61,829 183

3,943 1

Assam

6,07,811 384

3,762 152

5,98,087 228

5,962 4

Punjab

6,02,135 22

226 6

5,85,358 27

16,551 1

Jharkhand

3,48,526 40

166 24

3,43,225 16

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,787 14

176 0

3,36,213 14

7,398

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,386 87

814 14

3,26,143 73

4,429

Himachal Pradesh

2,22,138 202

1,452 58

2,16,955 140

3,731 4

Goa

1,77,765 59

618 21

1,73,790 35

3,357 3

Puducherry

1,27,564 43

454 7

1,25,258 50

1,852

Manipur

1,23,051 81

1,346 14

1,19,800 94

1,905 1

Mizoram

1,15,944 737

10,034 229

1,05,510 962

400 4

Tripura

84,369 18

105 10

83,448 8

816

Meghalaya

83,210 52

735 26

81,034 76

1,441 2

Chandigarh

65,315 3

26 2

64,469 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,065 22

140 2

54,645 20

280

Sikkim

31,819 19

185 10

31,241 9

393

Nagaland

31,670 11

250 5

30,743 15

677 1

Ladakh

20,896 10

43 9

20,645 1

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,678 2

4 2

10,670

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 0

7,510

129

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