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INDIAN CORONAVIRUS VARIANT CLASSIFIED AS A “GLOBAL VARIANT OF CONCERN”

INDIAN CORONAVIRUS VARIANT CLASSIFIED AS A “GLOBAL VARIANT OF CONCERN”

Context

Recently,  the World Health Organization has classified a coronavirus variant found in India as a global “variant of concern”.

Details

  • This variant was classified as a variant under investigation (VUI) by authorities in the UK earlier in May.
  • It has already spread to more than 17 countries.
  • The B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV-2 carries two mutations, E484Q and L452R.
  • The two mutations are found in the virus’s spike protein.
  • A variant of interest (VOI) becomes a variant of concern (VOC) if it has been demonstrated to be associated with increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology.

About World Health Organization

  • Founded in 1948.
  • Headquarters : Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Members : 194 Member States & six regional offices.
  • An intergovernmental organization, works in collaboration with its member states usually through the Ministries of Health.
  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
  • Objective : It  provides leadership on global health matters, shapes the health research agenda, sets norms and standards, articulates evidence-based policy options, provides technical support to countries and monitors and assess health trends.
  • India became a party  on 12 January 1948.
  • Director-General : Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

  • It is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.
  • It is a new strain of the coronavirus that has not been identified previously and is called a novel coronavirus (nCov).
  • It is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a virus closely related to the SARS virus.
  • The 2019-nCov has been given the official name as COVID-19.

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