The coronavirus behind Covid-19 has seen many mutations and India has also witnessed the changes. However, we had also seen a highly infectious coronavirus strain like the one plaguing UK right now, back in March to May, revealed experts.
In an interview with The Print, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) Director Anurag Agrawal said that India had witnessed an “absolutely unique coronavirus outbreak between March and May”.
According to the IGIB official, the mutant virus was named A4 and it was seen as a super spreader event in India back in March-May when the Covid-19 cases were spreading rapidly across several metro cities.
The A4 variant started in Southeast Asia and became a super-spreader event, said Agarwal and added that cases were seen in Delhi, Hyderabad and also Karnataka. However, it died its own death by June.
“A4 was not a fit virus as it was heavily mutated and hence, it died on its own by June. It was expected to fizzle out itself, there was no panic and this was not flagged,” said the expert.
Agarwal also observed that given the number of coronavirus infections India had over the past year, it wouldn’t be surprising to know if there were several mutations here as well.
In UK, a surge in Covid-19 infection rate caused by the new variant of the coronavirus has led to millions entering a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown since Sunday. The UK government has imposed a lockdown with non-essential shops and businesses being closed.
Over 40 nations, including India, have suspended flights from the UK over fears of the virus strain spreading to other countries.
A second mutant coronavirus strain has also been reported to have found in cases linked to South Africa, which experts in UK say is even more infectious.