The matters concerning the new coronavirus variant identified in southern Africa is a “developing story” and the World Health Organization (WHO) has held a meeting on the matter, the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday.
“As regards the issue of the South African variant, this is a developing incident. We just saw a report of and briefing by WHO. I don’t have any immediate information on the steps we are taking. It is an issue more for our health authorities. This is a very developing story,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at the weekly briefing.
He was responding to a query about the new variant labelled as B.1.1.529 by scientists.
The WHO held a meeting on Friday to discuss the newly-identified COVID-19 variant.
WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said after the meeting that early analysis shows that this variant has a large number of mutations that require and will undergo further study.
“It’ll take a few weeks for us to understand what impact this variant has. Researchers are working to understand more,” she said.
The variant was first detected in South Africa this week and scientists there have said B.1.1.529 has a large number of mutations.
As per reports, there could be between 30 to 50 mutations in the spike protein of the B.1.1.529 variant.
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