Covid-19: an alarming situation in India

india covid-19On Tuesday, 27 April 2020, the number of deaths due to Covid-19 crossed the 200 000 mark in India. In 24 hours, 362 902 new cases have been reported there.

The country is in a war situation against the coronavirus but the means are lacking and the application of the health protocol is not taken seriously by the local population.

Covid-19: two new variants appear in India

Two new variants appear in India and complicate the health situation:

  • The first variant, B1617, has two mutations that make it resistant to vaccines and highly contagious. This variant accounts for 10% of the contamination cases in India.
  • The second variant, B1618, is characterized by a triple mutation that also gives it a resistance to vaccines and a high level of infectivity. B1618 has been detected in five Indian states.

The Indian variants have the capacity to reduce the efficacy of existing vaccines by 50%, which would render any vaccination campaign ineffective. As the AstraZeneca vaccine (60% effective on the original Covid-19 strain) is the most widely used vaccine in India, the government is considering a temporary halt to the vaccination campaign until an effective replacement is available.

Covid-19: Indian variant already present in 17 countries

The B1617 variant has been identified in no less than 17 countries. The United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore are on the list. Some European Union countries are also affected by this variant, such as Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

To prevent the spread of these variants, several countries have decided to suspend flights to India. The United Arab Emirates, Canada and Australia have stopped flights to and from India.

Other countries have reduced airline traffic and are imposing a 15-day quarantine on all travelers from India.

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