- DG Shekhar Mande of CSIR said that the new Covid-19 mutant found in the UK is more contagious and that does not mean that it is more lethal
- It is anticipated that the vaccine for COVID-19 would remain effective against this new strain
- Several nations have banned flights from UK, after the British government warning against the new strain of coronavirus
On Monday, Shekhar Mande, who is the Director General (DG) of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said that the new coronavirus mutant discovered in the UK is more contagious, throwing the world into a panic, but a coronavirus vaccine would be equally effective against it despite the mutation.
Although the transmissibility of the new coronavirus mutant is a “bit higher” the CSIR DG also said, it “does not mean it is more lethal and more people are going to die due to this new mutation in the virus.” He said there is no need to worry about new coronavirus strains.
He said though in both cases there may be variations in certain aspects of the same as that of antibodies, however, Director General, Shekhar Mande asserted, a coronavirus vaccine would be very successful against the latest coronavirus mutant that has been found in the UK, resulting in the world closing its borders to Britain.
Vaccine Will Be Effective, No Need to Panic:
Shekhar Mande, DG, CSIR, said, “The coronavirus vaccines will be equally effective against the new virus mutant and no panic is required.”
Mr. Mande said further, “It is likely that there will be differences between certain aspects like anti-bodies”. Director General Mande also pointed out, “this does not necessarily mean that vaccines are not going to be effective. Despite the mutation, vaccines would be equally efficacious. There is, therefore, no need to panic.”
Over 4,000 coronavirus genomes have been sequenced by Indian institutions and submitted to the Global Influenza Data Sharing Initiative (GISAID).
He said that this particular coronavirus strain mutation, which affected nearly 1,000 in the UK, has not been identified in Indian isolates yet. In UK, Brazil and South Africa, the mutation has been independently detected.
How to Diagnose New Mutant of Coronavirus?
Shekhar Mande said it is possible to diagnose a new coronavirus mutation with RT-PCR. Although it needs to be seen if it can be similarly effective for the Rapid Antigen tests, he said there is nothing to indicate that it does not.
Shekhar Mande said that in a virus that is not otherwise mutated, there might be variations in monoclonal (lab-made) antibodies that identify the specific region. However, he did point out that “this monoclonal antibody does not work efficiently against this changed variant in the mutated virus.”
In an effort to block the spread of the latest coronavirus mutation, the Indian government has declared that all UK flights will be suspended from Tuesday night until 31 December. All those people who arrived in the country on or before Tuesday, i.e. 22nd December 2020, will have to get themselves tested for the novel Coronavirus.
In the meantime, just yesterday, nations from all over the globe closed their borders to Britain over the worry of the highly contagious new strain of the novel coronavirus, which has now caused travel chaos and is raising the risk of food shortages days before Britain is expected to leave the European Union.
India, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Jordan Poland, Sweden, France, and other countries suspended British travel after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country had discovered a mutated version of the virus.