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Current Affairs

Lambda variant

Date: 08 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A new variant of the Wuhan Coronavirus is increasingly being seen in several patients across the globe. It has been christened lambda variant.

 

Background

The Coronavirus has been mutating rapidly as it spreads across the globe. Many new variants have emerged such as alpha, beta, delta etc.

 

Details

  • The lambda variant is known formally as C.37. It was recently classified as “variant of interest” by health groups. They will have a keen watch over it in coming days.

  • The lambda variant is also considered to be fast spreading, similar to the delta variant. It has been identified in more than 25 countries.

  • The health concerns or actual threat has not yet been determined due to lack of studies conducted on it.

  • The variant has been dominant in countries of South America such as Peru. It is yet to be diagnosed in India. Europe and UK recently saw new cases emerge.

 

The origin

  • The lambda variant is not new. It has been in existence since last year. It is responsible for more than 80 percent of cases in Peru.

  • It is majorly seen in Chile, Ecuador and Argentina until recently. Now it has been successful in entering Europe and rest of the world.

 

Mutations

  • The lambda variant is assumed to have had seven different mutations in its spike protein. This includes increased transmission, increased resistance to anti-bodies etc.

  • The infectivity rate of lambda variant is also higher than alpha or gamma variant. The Chinese SioVac vaccine’s effectiveness has considerably reduced.

 

Threat to India

  • There is no direct threat at present. Frequent travelers from Europe may bring the strain here. It may remove all immunity gained through vaccinations.

  • A new wave may emerge and can spread into community levels. The cases have increased drastically in Europe in last couple of days.