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World

WHO says Indian coronavirus variant found in at least 17 countries

  • The variant officially known as B.1.617, has been listed by WHO as a 'variant of interest'.
  • The variant has been found in USA, UK and Singapore.
28 Apr 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the Indian coronavirus variant has been detected in at least 17 countries.

The variant officially known as B.1.617 was first detected in India in October and has been listed by WHO as a 'variant of interest'. In its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic, WHO said the variant has been detected in over 1,200 sequences uploaded to the GISAID open-access database from at least 17 countries.

"Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, USA and Singapore,” WHO said.

Since last week, India has been battling the second coronavirus wave, following a loosening of restrictions and a large number of religious and political gatherings. It is also struggling with a health system overwhelmed by patients and plagued by accidents.

During the last 24 hours, 360,960 new infections were reported in India, taking the coronavirus tally past 17.9 million. India also reported 3,293 daily COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing India's total fatalities to 201,187.

On Tuesday, medical supplies began to reach India, with Britain sending 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators. While Ireland, Germany and Australia are dispatching oxygen concentrators and ventilators.