New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday (March 301 2021) announced that the two COVID-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin are effective against the UK and the Brazillian variants of the novel coronavirus. The government also informed that studies were being conducted at several laboratories against the South African strain.
In a weekly press conference by the Union health ministry, ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava said 11,064 genome samples have been sequenced in the country, the UK variant of the virus was detected in 807, the South African variant in 47 and the Brazilian variant was found in one.
“Both the vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin- are effective against the UK and the Brazillian variants and the work against the South African variant is ongoing at several laboratories,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
Bhargava further said that mutations are sporadic and single mutations are not found to be dominant in any particular area in India.
“In terms of significance of the point of double mutations they are not significant as far as India is concerned and their relationship with increased severity or increased transmissibility has not been established in Indian context,” he said.
Last week, the Union health ministry said the new “double mutant” variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in Delhi, Maharashtra and some other places in addition to the three “variants of concern” — first noticed in the UK, South Africa and Brazil — that have been found in at least 18 states and union territories.