INDIA’S terrifying “double mutant” strain of coronavirus is causing “increased concern” around the world.
This morning Boris Johnson cancelled a scheduled visit to New Delhi as the virus there increasingly rages out of control.
Although it is not yet classified a variant of concern like Brazil or SOuth African strains , the fact it contains multiple mutations from the original SARS CoV-2 makes it much less easy to predict.
Two of the mutations seen in the India strain could make dodge vaccines much easier than earlier variants, while a third mutation could make it much easier to transmit.
That could explain why India is currently experiencing its worst outbreak of coronavirus since the pandemic began – something that has got increasingly concerned about the Indian strain becoming dominant.
So far there are at least 73 documented cases of the Indian strain in the UK.
There have also been multiple community transmissions, raising the prospect that not all incoming travellers with the virus were identified during their isolation period.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace, told the Andrew Marr Show: “We have seen a couple of cases (of the Indian variant) that haven’t arisen from travel but we’re still trying to undergo the investigations to look in great detail at where they might have acquired it from.
“To escalate it up the ranking we need to know that it is increased transmissibility, increased severity or vaccine evading, and we just don’t have that yet.”
Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…
BEN SHEPHARD SAYS ‘SUN SEEMS BRIGHTER’ AS HE GETS COVID-19 JAB
Ben Shephard has said the “sun seems a bit brighter” after he got his Covid-19 jab.
The Good Morning Britain star, 46, revealed he got his first vaccination at the stadium of the Harlequins rugby club.
He shared a photo on Instagram of himself getting the jab, and another of himself and his wife Annie wearing their stickers in the stadium.
He wrote: “#JabbyMcjabface First one done! thanks to all the team @harlequins wonderfully efficient friendly staff, and a cracking setting too.
“I’d say the sun seems a bit brighter today! #grateful.”
US: HALF OF ALL ADULTS HAVE HAD AT LEAST ONE COVID VACCINE
Half of all adults in the US have received at least one Covid-19 jab, the government announced Sunday.
Almost 130 million people 18 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 50.4% of the total adult population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
Almost 84 million adults, or about 32.5% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.
The US reached the halfway mark just a day after the reported global death toll from the coronavirus topped a staggering three million, according to data released by Johns Hopkins University.
However, the actual number is believed to be significantly higher.
MEXICO REPORTS 1,506 NEW CASES OF COVID-19 AND 111 MORE DEATHS
Mexico’s health ministry on Sunday reported 1,506 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 111 more fatalities.
The new data brings Mexico’s total to 2,305,602 infections and 212,339 deaths.
The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher.
Separate data published recently suggested the actual death toll is at least 60% above the confirmed figure.
BRAZIL REPORTS 42,980 NEW COVID CASES AND 1,657 DEATHS IN 24 HOURS
Brazil recorded 42,980 additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
The South American nation also confirmed a further 1,657 Covid deaths, the Health Ministry said today.
Brazil has registered more than 13.9 million cases since the pandemic began.
The country’s official death toll has risen to 373,335.
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