INDIAN COVID-19 STRAIN LIKELY TO BE DECLARED VARIANT OF CONCERN
A coronavirus strain first detected in India is likely to be elevated to a “variant of concern” after clusters were found in several areas of England, according to reports.
Cases of the variant have been found in schools, care homes and places of worship in the North West, London and the East Midlands, largely linked to travel, Channel 4 News has reported.
The broadcaster said it is “highly likely” it will be declared a “variant of concern” on Friday, though cases remain relatively low.
Such a change can mean an escalation in response from Public Health England (PHE), including ordering surge testing.
The strain – B1617.2 – is one of three related variants first seen in India which have been detected in the UK and designated “under investigation” by PHE.
The others are B1617.1 and B1617.3.