Kappa variant of Covid-19 detected in Uttar Pradesh; Here’s all you need to know about the new strain

New Delhi: Amid rising cases of delta plus variant in India, two cases of Kappa variant of COVID-19 have been detected in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. The cases were detected during a genome sequencing of 109 samples at King George medical college in Lucknow.

According to sources, one of the patients, a 66-year-old man, has died that has created panic among people.

What is Kappa variant of Covid-19 ?

According to the experts, the Kappa variant was first detected in India in October 2020. The variant is identified as B.1.617.1. The World Health Organization (WHO) named the variant Kappa in late May.

Is Kappa a variant of concern?

The WHO at present has not classified this variant as a variant of concern. However, it has been deemed as a variant of interest.

Is it a double mutant?

This variant has been found to carry over a dozen mutations, of which two have been identified – E484Q and L452R. Hence, Kappa is also referred to as a double mutant.

What does Union Health Ministry say about the new strain?

“It was detected at the same time when the Delta variant was reported. But it got overshadowed by Delta variant during the second wave,” said Member-Health, NITI Aayog VK Paul.

He added that Kappa variant is of much less intensity and was earlier reported in February and March. “If cases are detected, this means that the variant has stayed in the country. Our watch will continue,” he said.

“We need to keep an eye on the scientific impact and vaccine immunity of Kappa variant,” he further added.

What are the symptoms of the Kappa variant?

The Kappa variant infection has similar symptoms to other COVID-19 variants such as flu, fever, headache, aches, prolonged cough, dry mouth, to loss of smell and taste.

Are vaccines effective against the Kappa variant?

According to a report by TOI, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is effective against the Kappa variant while the Oxford University has also researched in June and stated that Covishield also protects against the new strain.

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