Triple-mutant named as ‘Bengal strain’ a new worry in the country


The ‘triple mutant variant’ or the new ‘Bengal strain’ is a new variant of the Covid-19 virus that has been detected in India. This variant is more infectious and is spreading rapidly. It is predominantly circulating in West Bengal.


The country reels under a surge of new Covid-19 cases and deaths, experts have theorised that the new wave of infections is driven by the ‘double mutant’ variant discovered in the country, the B.1.617.


The property of the viruses mutate as they replicate, as a part of natural processes — a mutation occurs when there is an ‘error’ or change in the RNA sequence of the virus as it replicates. Some viruses mutate faster than others, such as the influenza virus. Reports suggest that while this variant is predominantly circulating in West Bengal, it has also been detected in samples from Delhi and Maharashtra.


Covid-19 transmission in India is exploding at a rate unseen anywhere in the world so far. On Sunday, 3,49,691 new COVID-19 cases, 2,767 deaths and 2,17,113 discharges in the last 24 hours, as per Union Health Ministry. India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,69,60,172, while active cases have crossed the 26-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry. The death toll has increased to 1,92,311. The active cases have increased to 26,82,751, this comprises 15.82 per cent of the total infections.


An expert say, the country is running under serious medical crisis, with as many as good hospitals are out of Oxygen, Preventive injections/ medicines and Ventilators etc.


A question comes on how there has been this type of spike in spreading the virus across the country. As per the record, Dr. Harshvardhan, Union Minister of Health said, we are in the end game  and on 21st march PM Modi, said, A hearty welcome to all the devotees of Mahakumbh, where about 30 lakh devotees had attended. On 30th March, again the health minister said, the situation is under control.


Similarly, on 4th April , Assam Health Minister said, there is no Covid in Assam and no need to wear a face mask. On 14th April Uttarkhand CM on Kumbh said, Ma ganga’s blessings are there in the flow. So there should be no corona. All these statements has given the laxity on the so called advisory on the distance maintaining. The most important is the present election in various states in the country where there were large mass has gathered to hear the visionary speech of the politicians and personalities.


The expert says, if the Government could concentrate on the developing the National wide health infrastructure, this kind of situation could be avoided. However, now the complete machinery is totally geared-up to save the every citizen in the country.


Let’s look into the environment on how fast is this variant spreading?


According to Vinod Scaria, the proportion of the ‘triple mutant variant’ has been “growing significantly” in recent months in West Bengal. He however adds that much is “unknown” about this variant and more studies on it are required.


In a report, The Hindu said the ‘triple mutant variant’ may comprise “as much as 15 per cent” of the genomes in West Bengal between January and March this year. However, experts say this variant of the Covid-19 virus is more infectious than other variants.


In an interview to NDTV, Dr Madhukar Pai, professor of epidemiology at McGill University, said, “This is a more transmissible variant. It is making lots of people sick very quickly.”


This, experts say, can possibly compromise vaccine efficacy. E484K was also found in the Brazilian and South African variants of the virus.


“You may not be safe from this variant even if you had previously been infected by another strain, or even if you have been vaccinated,” Sreedhar Chinnaswamy of the National Institute of Biomedical Genomic (NIBG) told The Times of India.


While experts agree that the new variant detected in West Bengal is more infectious than other variants, but they say it is too early to conclude that it alone is responsible for the spike in Covid-19 cases in the state.


However, it is too early to say if this variant is responsible for the spike in Bengal’s Covid-19 cases. This variant is more infectious and making more people sick quickly.


Addressing the press on Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the lockdown in the National Capital would be extended by another week in view of a rising number of coronavirus cases. “The corona situation had worsened, which is why we started a 6-day lockdown last week, which ends tomorrow morning. With cases rising at a rapid rate, it was necessary for us to start a lockdown,” he said.


Now there are all hopes on the PM CARES Fund, it has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for the installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities to address the oxygen crisis across the country.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. He said that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level.