C.1.2 COVID variant, first found in South Africa, not detected in India so far: Centre

C.1.2 coronavirus variant could be more transmissible and evade protection provided by vaccines, a study suggests. 

C.1.2 COVID variant, first found in South Africa, not detected in India so far: Centre
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New Delhi: As new COVID-19 variant C.1.2 has emerged in countries across the world, the Centre on Wednesday (September 1) allayed fears and said no case of this strain has been detected in India so far. 

The Union health ministry clarified that “no case of new Covid variant C.1.2 has been detected in India so far”, news agency IANS reported. The Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology is on alert to detect the variant. 

As per a study, C.1.2 coronavirus variant could be more transmissible and evade protection brought by vaccines. The researchers say that this new variant has more mutations than other variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs) identified globally so far. The study, on the preprint repository MedRxiv, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, found that C.1.2 sequences have 14 mutations, adding that more variations have been noticed in some of the sequences. "Though these mutations occur in the majority of C.1.2 viruses, there is additional variation within the spike region of this lineage, suggesting ongoing intra-lineage evolution," the authors of the study said as per PTI report. 

C.1.2 was first detected in South Africa and countries including China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, the UK, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland have reported cases of this new COVID-19 variant as of August 13. National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa confirmed C.1.2 which is a potential variant of interest (VOI) was first detected in the country in May this year.

According to the WHO, there are 100 sequences of C.1.2 reported globally. Found in South Africa, this variant does not appear to be “increasing in circulation” currently, the United Nations (UN) health agency added. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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