NEW DELHI – The C.1.2 variant of the Covid-19, which originated in South Africa, has not been found in India so far, as per the government sources.

As per the reports of  Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for Covid-19, the variant has been found in at least six countries across the globe.

“First, remember that the more the virus spreads, the more opportunity it has to change. We have the tools to prevent infections, reduce the spread & save lives – let’s use them,” tweeted Van Kerkhove and explained the C.1.2 through a thread.

The researchers in South Africa first presented their findings on variant C.1.2 to the World Health Organization Virus Evolution Working Group on July 21, as per the World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization said that to date, there are 100 sequences of C.1.2 reported globally from the earliest reports from South Africa, and currently, it does not appear to be “increasing in circulation.”

The new variant was first reported in South Africa in May. Researchers have described the C.1.2 variant with 40-59 mutations more than the original coronavirus. The research involves scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform.

However, experts say that the variant is not a cause of concern or no need to get anxious based on the researchers’ data.

“Too early to conclude much. It is a variant of interest and will be monitored,” said  Anurag Agrawal, Director, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology.

“This is a variant that has been described in South Africa by a reputed team of researchers who have prior experience with such work,” said Rajeev Jayadevan, vice chairman of research cell at Kerala State Medical Association. I will say that many such changes occur in the course of the lifecycle of the virus, and not all these changes are permanent.”

“In other words, it’s almost like the viruses experimenting with themselves to see how they can adapt themselves or change themselves in subtle ways to adapt to the human host, remember this virus only found the human host, since, about a year and a half.”

He said the virus is still trying to get to know our system. 

“So it is going to continue to make changes, and this is not the only virus that does it all viruses, learn to adapt, and some viruses are cleverer than the others in terms of adaptation to SARS Covid – 2 viruses is concerned moderate in its ability to mutate,” said Jayadevan. 

“So this is where we stand right now, it’s an important discovery worthy of note, but I would not say there is any need to be anxious, based on the data we have.” 

( With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra

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