New Delhi: Even as the novel coronavirus crisis seemed to be abating, a new mutated strain of the COVID-19 which has been dubbed as a "super-spreader" has been reported from the United Kingdom.
Notably, this aggressive strain has not been found in India, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul said on Tuesday.
In a press conference, Dr VK Paul said, "We talked to the UK research community and we came to know that the mutation has enhanced the transmissibility rate of the virus. It is being said that 70 per cent transmissibility rate has increased. We can say that the virus has become super-spreader," Dr Paul was quoted as saying by PTI.
"This virus mutation is not affecting the severity of the disease, neither the case fatality nor the hospitalization rate. The new strain or mutation of coronavirus seen in the United Kingdom has not been seen in India, so far. There is no cause for concern, no need to panic. As for now, we need to stay vigilant," he added.
As per Dr Paul, the mutation of the virus suggests that there is a change in RNA. He emphasised that it has no significance and that this behaviour is seen in many virus.
"Around 17 changes are seen in the virus and one change --N501Y is responsible for the virus by which it enters human cells. It increases the tendency of the virus to enter in our body. It is a cause for concern. It is an adverse development in UK," Dr Paul added.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the virus mutation, the Centre on Monday took a slew of measures as a matter of precaution which included banning flights from the UK till December 31. Also, all incoming passengers have to go through mandatory RT-PCR tests.