(Our Bureau, May 12) The World Health Organisation has classified the Indian-origin strain of Covid-19 as a “variant of concern at the global level.” First detected in October 2020, the B.1.617 variant is seen responsible for India’s present crisis causing the death toll to rise to 2.4 lakh. Canada, New Zealand, UAE and several other countries have restricted travel from India to prevent the variant’s spread. WHO’s Indian-origin chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan exhorted Indians to get whatever vaccine is available to them. But she also said the present line of treatment is effective and should continue even against the new variant.
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