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[…] Since the coronavirus is evolving rapidly, will the corona vaccine of India be effective against the future mutant COVID strain? […]

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Will The B117 Virus Trigger Another Lockdown In India?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Just when we thought that the COVID-19 pandemic was receding, we received some gloomy news. There’s a new COVID strain doing the rounds. Our coronavirus vaccine drive is almost underway and at this point, news of a new COVID strain, the B117 virus has got everyone asking the question- does this mean a new lockdown? 

Here’s what you need to know.

What do scientists know about the B117 virus?

The B117 virus originated as a mutation of the coronavirus in the eastern and southern UK in September and by the end of the year, scientists everywhere had started studying the B117 virus. Why did it cause so much concern when other COVID strains did not?

Experts have found that the B117 virus is much more contagious than other COVID strains. It is almost 70% more transmissible. 

The good news is, despite being more contagious than the regular coronavirus, the B117 virus is definitely not more dangerous than the other strains. 

The situation in the UK

The news of the increasing numbers of infections associated with the mutated coronavirus spread like a wildfire. Since this virus broke out in the UK and spread like wildfire, it did not come as a surprise when PM Boris Johnson declared the second lockdown in the country that lasted for the last two months of 2020 and going by the most recent reports, it may continue until February 2021.

India along with many countries had suspended flights to Britain over fears that international travel will expedite the spread of the new virus in India.

Is lockdown necessary in India? 

Despite the suspension of flights, the B117 virus has reached India. As per December reports, more than 5 people who arrived in India from Britain tested positive for this new strain. They have exposed others to the virus as well.

How likely is a new lockdown in India? Not very at this moment. The threats to the economy posed by a new lockdown are numerous and so far the B117 virus has not reached dangerous levels. Besides, preparations to roll out the coronavirus vaccine are in full swing.

B117 in India: Is B117 more infectious?

Scientists are yet not aware of the fact whether this variant is more infectious or resistant to vaccines. Dr Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University, says one of its mutations is similar to those seen in variants identified in South Africa and Brazil. This mutation may help the virus evade antibodies in the immune system that can fight coronavirus based on experience from prior infection or a vaccine.

But what appears to be more worrying at the moment is a variant identified in the UK, which is dominant in Britain and has spread to more than 50 countries. “I doubt whether the Indian variant is more infectious than the UK variant – and we must not panic,” Dr Kamil says.

Hence, keeping a safe distance and maintaining all COVID-19 norms is important to keep yourself and the people around you safe and healthy. The following paragraph lists the measures to be taken.

Keep yourself safe

The same measures that prevent the spread of other COVID strains are effective against the B117 virus-

  • Wear a mask whenever you go out
  • Maintain social distancing and go out only when necessary
  • Sanitize your hands frequently when outside
  • Wash, clean, and disinfect your food packers, vegetables, groceries, fruits, clothes, and bags.

Let us try our best to follow protocols and keep each other safe.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.


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