WHO: Indian Covid-19 strain found in Bahrain, 2 other MENA countries
According to a WHO official, the B.1.617 Covid-19 variant, known as the ‘Indian variant’, has been detected in Bahrain, Jordan, and Morocco, Khaleej Times reported.
Last week, WHO classified the Indian variant as a ‘Variant of Concern’ (VoC) owing to evidence of increased transmissibility.
Dr. Amgad El Kholy, an epidemiologist at WHO, said factors such as the recent large gatherings, cocirculating variants like B.1.1.7 and B.1.618, etc., may have contributed to the spread.
It’s unclear whether reports of high mortality are due to increased severity of the variant, to straining of health system capacity due to the rapid increase in cases, or both, he said.
Based on what is known so far, vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics continue to be effective at preventing disease and death in those infected with this variant, he added.
He also added that no extra precautions are needed, but urged full adherence to and implementation of the standard public health measures and preventive practices.