New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the concerns over the third wave of COVID-19, new variants of the deadly virus have emerged alarming the health authorities in the country. After the Delta variant, its mutation Delta Plus has become a cause of worry for the government after India's recent encounter with the second wave of the COVID-19. The Delta Plus variant, K417N, was previously discovered in the Beta variant, first found in South Africa, and the experiments and studies conducted on it revealed that the vaccination against the Beta variant has not been effective.

Apart from the Delta and Delta Plus variants, two more mutations of the deadly virus have gained the attention of the health authorities. The two new variants are Lambda, a variant discovered by Public Health England and classed as a variant of interest (VOI) by the World Health Organization, and Kappa or B.1.617.1.

Four variant of COVID19 which have alarmed the health departments:

Delta Variant

The Delta variant, which was first found in India, is said to be the driving force behind the devastating second COVID-19 wave the country witnessed nearly two months ago. According to a study, the vaccines against the Delta Variant are 8 times less effective as compared to the original strain of the COVID-19. The Delta variant also has some extra transmissibility and causes more severe symptoms in the infected patient. According to a report, quoted by News18, the Delta variant is now increasing in other countries including UK and Israel. The report further stated that the Delta variant is behind 90 per cent of the recent cases reported in Israel.

Delta Plus Variant

Formed because of the mutation in Delta Variant, the Delta Plus variant was first identified in India and is said to be the additional force behind the second COVID-19 wave. Maharashtra reported some cases of the Delta Plus variant which has been considered highly infectious. Health experts have warned that the Delta Plus variant may trigger the third COVID-19 wave in Maharashtra.

The Delta Plus variant has been detected in nine countries so far including India. The countries where this mutation has been found are UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Japan, Nepal, China, India and Russia. As per preliminary studies done on the Delta Plus variant, it was found that the mutation can cause stomach aches, nausea, appetite loss, vomiting, joint pains, hearing impairment, etc.

Kappa Variant

At least, two cases of the Kappa variant of Covid-19 have been detected in Uttar Pradesh, the state government confirmed today. The highly transmissible Covid-19 variant was confirmed through the genome sequencing of samples which returned positive in Lucknow's King George medical college, according to an official statement. According to experts, the Kappa variant is a double mutant strain of the COVID-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has labelled the Kappa strain as a "variant of interest", along with Eta, Iota and Lambda mutations of COVID-19.

The Kappa variant, which is a sibling of the Delta variant of COVID-19, is also referred as "double mutant" due to its two mutations -- L452R and E484Q. It is being said that the L452R mutation of the Kappa variant can help COVID-19 escape the immune response of the human body.

Lambda Variant

The WHO last week labelled the Lambda variant as a 'variant of Interest'. The Lambda strain was reported to have originated from Peru, the country with the highest mortality rate in the world. The new strain has been detected in more than 30 countries in the past four weeks. However, the official government sources, as quoted by news agency ANI, said that no case of Lambda variant has been detected yet in India. Because of its significant alterations, such as L452Q and F490S, the variant is worrying. There is currently no proof that the variant causes more severe diseases or renders immunizations ineffective, according to UK health officials.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan