As India reports nearly three lakh cases and over 2,000 deaths in 24 hours, the biggest jump since the pandemic erupted, a new mutation in the COVID virus has emerged as the new challenge.
After the double mutation, its now the triple mutation, meaning three different Covid strains combining to form a new variant, has been detected in parts of the country.
States like Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal are believed to have cases driven by the triple mutant.
Scientists believe the new surges globally are driven by new variants.
“This is a more transmissible variant. It is making lots of people sick very quickly,” said Madhukar Pai, professor of epidemiology at McGill University.
“We have to keep tweaking vaccines. For that we need to understand the disease. But we need sequencing on war footing,” Dr Pai told NDTV.
That sets up a huge challenge for India, where genome sequencing is being done for less than one per cent of all cases, currently.
According to Dr Pai, the delay in detecting the double mutation may have contributed to the current virus spurt.
A double mutation, which surfaced in India, was when two strains combined. Now three Covid variants have combined to form the triple mutation.
Experts believe mutations are driving the fresh infection spikes, not just in India but across the world.