A smartphone showing the logo of the Chinese Communist Virus (COVID-19) tracking app.
The death toll from the Chinese Communist virus (COVID-19) in India crossed 200,000 on Wednesday (28), with more than 3,000 people dying in just 24 hours. The World Health Organization warned that B.1.617, a variant of the virus first identified in India and responsible for the surge in cases of the CCP virus in the country, has been identified in more than a dozen countries.
India is facing a surge in new cases and deaths from the CCP virus, and there are fears that the B.1.617 variant of the virus may be the cause of the current disaster.
WHO acknowledges that B.1.617 is growing faster than other variants of the virus in India, suggesting an increased potential for B.1.617 transmission, according to preliminary modeling submitted to the Global Initiative for Shared Influenza Data (GISAID).
WHO also noted that other variants that are active at the same time also show an increased ability to spread, and that this combination may be one of the factors contributing to the severity of the current outbreak in India.
“More precisely, studies have highlighted that the second wave is spreading much faster than the first wave.” WHO said.
As the outbreak crisis in India intensifies, WHO also warned that as of Tuesday, B.1.617 CCP variants have been detected in more than 1,200 sequences uploaded to GISAID’s open-access database from at least 17 countries.
“Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore,” WHO said in its weekly epidemiological update on the CCP virus pandemic.
WHO said further robust research is urgently needed to characterize B.1.617 and other variants of the virus, including aspects of transmissibility, severity and impact on the risk of reinfection.
Recently, Nepal, which shares a border with India, has also seen a surge in cases of CCLV infections, from which a variant strain from India has played a role. Nepal reported 3,032 new infections on Sunday, the highest daily number of new cases in the country this year.
“The virus is mutating very fast …… variants of the virus that started in India have now entered Nepal,” said Rabindra Pandey, a Nepalese public health expert. He added that if the trend continues for a week, then new patients will not be able to find any beds because hospitals are already stretched to the limit.
“The situation is really scary,” said Prakash Thapa, a doctor at Bheri Hospital in Nepalgunj, the country’s southwestern plain city bordering India, where the hospital is filled with patients with the CCP virus who need intensive care and ventilators.