Telangana: Mutated coronavirus creates scare
Coronavirus in Telangana: State medical department sounds alert
Coronavirus in Telangana: At a time when the world is anxiously waiting for the Corona vaccine, the news of the latest variant V117 sweeping across the Southern UK has caused concern both for the Government and the medical fraternity. The main reason for the concern is that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that it was spreading rapidly replacing other versions of the virus and according to experts this would result in its spread more easily.
The new variant is said to be 70 per cent more transmissible than previous strains though health experts say there is no evidence that it is more deadly or would react differently to vaccines.
Scientists and doctors say that the variant is not new. In fact, it was first detected in September. In November, around a quarter of cases in London were from the new variant. This reached nearly two-thirds of cases in mid-December. According to Dr Mukherjee, so far, no such variant has been detected in the country. But what is important is to track those who have come from the UK in the last two weeks or so. However, he and Dr Mohan Vamsi, who had himself been a volunteer for the vaccine trail, said that there was a need to introduce the vaccine in the country at the earliest.
Dr. Mukherjee said that cases in the UK had reduced since May, but a second wave was seen in December. Why the cases are reduced and why the cases are growing in some places indicates that mutations lead to this kind of situation. They felt that if the Moderna vaccine comes here it would be very good. The government should bring in vaccine on war- footing. Medical experts say that while there is no need to panic, it was not the time to lower the guard and ignore following the health protocols. Wearing a mask, frequent sanitisation of hands maintaining social distance was very important to keep the second wave away from India.
Taking note of this development, the Telangana State medical department sounded alert and has decided to track all those who came to Hyderabad from the UK in the last 10 or 15 days. Those who test positive will be hospitalised and those who test negative would be advised institutional quarantine for a week. RT PCR tests will be conducted on all those who land at the airport before the ban on flights from the UK comes into effect. The ban would come into effect from midnight of Tuesday.
What is mutation?
A mutation is a change in an organism's genetic material. When a virus makes millions of copies of itself and moves from host to host, not every copy is identical. These small mutations accumulate as the virus is passed on – and copied again and again.