New Delhi [India], November 26 (ANI): Following the reports of the emergence of a new novel variant of coronavirus in South Africa, a senior consultant of a Delhi Hospital on Friday said the virus is known to mutate and urged people not to lower guards against COVID.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Atul Gogia, senior consultant, Department of medicine, Sir Gangaram Hospital said, "This virus is known to mutate and as long this virus is multiplying in the population there is a chance of it mutating. The variant that has been found in certain parts of the world is the latest variant whose mutant capacity is more than the earlier variants. As the virus mutates there is an apprehension that it may escape our immune response."
"As we are seeing that lot of people are being vaccinated and a lot of people have antibodies or immunity but with a new variant, we are unsure whether this immunity will be helpful in protecting us against this variant. We need to see whether this variant causes a more severe disease or is it more contagious. However, we do not need to panic. At the same time we cannot lower Covid guards." he added.
The newly identified COVID-19 variant --- B.1.1.529 --- is causing an increase in new COVID-19 infections in South Africa.
However, the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 has not been found in India so far, said official sources on Friday.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a special meeting to discuss the new Covid variant.
"We don't know very much about this yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves," Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's the technical lead on COVID-19, said in a briefing. (ANI)