Indians are the greatest bullshitters in the world

Mutations: what we know about the Indian variant - and what not

India's health system threatens to collapse under the corona burden. The rapid increase in new infections every day has led to a shortage of drugs and medical oxygen, and patients are queuing in front of the hospitals.

The new virus mutant B.1.617 is probably partly responsible for the dramatic situation. Like other countries, Germany has therefore imposed an extensive entry ban for India from Monday. What is known about the Indian mutation so far:

Where does the mutant come from?

Viruses are constantly changing. The virus that triggered the global corona pandemic has already undergone thousands of mutations, some of which are more worrying than others. India reported the occurrence of the genome B.1.617 to the sequence database of the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data (Gisaid) for the first time in October 2020.

The Indian Ministry of Health pointed out the variant at the end of March 2021. At that time, it was detected in 15 to 20 percent of the samples analyzed in the state of Maharashtra most affected by the pandemic. According to the latest information, B.1.617 now accounts for around 60 percent of new corona infections in India. The variant has already been identified in 20 other countries.

Is there cause for concern?

The mutant B.1.617 has so far been classified as "of interest" by the World Health Organization (WHO). Unlike the variants that were first discovered in Brazil, South Africa and Great Britain, B.1.617 is not yet considered to be "worrying".

The variant has several mutations, including E484Q and L452R. These abbreviations indicate the exact position of the respective genetic change in the virus genome. The two mutations are the reason why B.1.617 is also referred to as a double mutant.