The double-mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has arrived in Europe. The mutation was discovered in samples taken in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Indian specialists are checking whether it may be more infectious or less susceptible to vaccines.
“There are still new variants of SARS-CoV-2 spreading around the world. A new variant of COVID-19, the so-called Indian variant B.1.617, entered Europe, Dr Paweł Grzesiowski, an expert of the Polish Supreme Medical Council on combating COVID-19, warns on Twitter. Over 100 cases of infection with this variant have already been detected in the UK.
The Indian variant of the coronavirus is another, after the British, South African, Californian and Brazilian variants, detected in the world. It contains two mutations: E484Q and L452R. Virologist Shahid Jameel explained that “a double mutation in key areas of the virus’s S protein could make it more infectious and allow it to bypass our immune system.” He added that “there may be a distinct coronavirus lineage in India with mutations L452R and E484Q.”
Dr Grzesiowski warned that the Indian variant is a “mix” of the Brazilian (P.1) and US (1,427) variants.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday the country intends to achieve collective immunity to the coronavirus by autumn this year and praised the development of three Russian vaccines.
“Vaccination is paramount now… so that herd immunity can emerge in the fall,” Putin said in a statement.
“Our scientists have made a real breakthrough. Russia now has three reliable vaccines against the coronavirus,” he added.
The 68-year-old president was vaccinated last week with a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine. He did not say which of the three Russian vaccines – Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona or CoviVac – was given to him.
On Wednesday, he urged Russians to vaccinate.
The health ministry suggests not testing the parents of primary school students before returning to school. Only students are to be tested.
The project indicates that education in local governments, where the epidemic situation remains unfavourable, can be taught both remotely and stationary.