In a frightening update Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a reclassification of the extremely contagious triple-mutant Covid-19 variant spreading across India as a “variant of concern,” implying it’s becoming a threat globally.
In preliminary studies, the variant, known as B.1.627, has been found to be more transmissible and may not be responsive to vaccines.
“And as such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19 said according to CNBC.
“Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage in all of the sub-lineages, so we need more sequencing, targeted sequencing to be done,"
The WHO has been following the various variants, including the B.1.617, but says more research is needed.
“What it means for anybody at home is any of the SARS-CoV-2 viruses circulating can infect you and spread and everything in that sense is of concern,” she said Monday. “So, all of us at home, no matter where we live, no matter what virus is circulating, we need to make sure that we take all of the measures at hand to prevent ourselves from getting sick.”