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New COVID Strain Not Detected In Samples Tested In India: ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute

Dr Samiran Panda, Director of ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) said whether the new strain of the Coronavirus will cause a serious public health threat is unclear as of now

New COVID Strain Not Detected In Samples Tested In India: ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute
  • Dr Samiran Panda, ICMR-NARI suggested to remain watchful but to not panic
  • 7-11 sub-types of coronavirus are already known: Dr Panda, ICMR-NARI
  • Dr Panda called to strengthen behavioural interventions to fight COVID-19

Pune: Mutant strain of coronavirus found in the United Kingdom was not seen in the samples tested from various parts of India, Dr Samiran Panda, director of ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) said on Tuesday (December 22). Speaking to ANI, Dr Panda said, “We have tested samples collected from the various parts of the country and haven’t seen the mutant strain found in the UK. We shouldn’t think that this will definitely come to India.”

Also Read: Mutation In Coronavirus Not Likely To Affect Vaccine Development: Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research

The transmission and severity of the disease are not known. This particular finding needs to be seen in scientific light and also in the right perspective. We need to be watchful as COVID-19 is a new phenomenon and was unknown to the immune system. The virus changes under immunological pressure for survival and due to proliferation as well, he explained.

Dr Panda said that whether the new strain of the virus will cause a serious public health threat is unclear as of now. “We are keeping tracking of the viral genome that is circulating within the country. Over the last six-seven months, the viral genome studies that have taken place involving over 2,000 samples that have not identified this mutation.”

He said that India is not a country where all the states are behaving homogeneously. Some of the states are witnessing an upsurge of infection. Behavioural intervention which are the key prevention measures for breaking the chain of virus transmission should be strengthened, irrespective of the new mutant coming to India or not.

Also Read: COVID-19 Pandemic: The New Variation Of SARS-CoV-2 Is Rapidly Replacing Other Strains, Says WHO’s Soumya Swaminathan

Dr Panda said that seven-eleven sub-types of coronavirus are already known but not each one that is identified needs to be seen with panic.

It is time for us to remain watchful but not to panic. We need to keep a track of human being infected. Many are asymptomatic but those symptomatic, are they recovering well and continue to recover? The fatality rate is remaining low? If all the clinical indications like the severity of the disease, fatality rate are remaining low, we don’t need to panic at all but we need to be watchful that the scientists are coming across, he told ANI.

Also Read: Scientists Say UK Strain Unlikely To Affect Efficacy Of COVID-19 Vaccines, Warn Against More Mutations

Any vaccine against virus works by stimulating the immune response against different components of the virus. It is premature to think that the efforts to develop a vaccine is going to fall apart. There isn’t enough scientific evidence to say that the vaccine is going to fail, he said.

We are having our surveillance. There have been a large number of the sample tested and we haven’t seen mutants. But this does not mean that we can let our guards down, it will be disastrous, Dr Panda concluded.

Also Read: Pfizer, Moderna Testing Their Vaccines Against New Coronavirus Strain Found In The United Kingdom

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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

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