New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid ongoing efforts to develop an effective vaccine for novel coronavirus, Centre on Saturday said that two nationwide studies on the genome of covid-19 suggest that it is genetically stable and has shown no major mutation. Centre's statement came amid concerns in some quarters that any major mutation detected in the novel coronavirus could hinder the development of an effective vaccine.

Mutation typically refers to the property of a virus to undergo changes when it multiplies and the virus may develop some new strains after it replicates. In cases, the new strains tend to be less effective and therefore die out soon, while more powerful strains may lead to faster spread of the virus.

After a review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the COVID-19 pandemic situation, and vaccine delivery, distribution and administration preparedness, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.

Prime Minister's Office in a statement said, two Pan India studies on the Genome of SARSCoV-2 (Covid-19 virus) in India conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Bio-Technology suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus. The PMO said, Coronavirus vaccine will not be affected as no major mutation was in the virus. 

A study by a group of researchers last month found that the coronavirus genomes in India have 5.39 percent mutation similarity with 72 nations. Last month, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said no significant or drastic mutations have been found in strains of SARS-CoV-2 in India till now. In his context, the effectiveness of a vaccine will not be determined by minor "drifts", he had said.

(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha