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Mutant strain is not so virulent says Dr Rakesh Mishra

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New Delhi: According to Dr Rakesh Mishra, director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) the so called ‘N440K’ mutant strain of the virus is not very virulent as that of the original prevailing virus. He adds, “The CCMB researchers analyzed thousands of samples collected from various parts of the country including the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, to identify if there are any mutations observed in the existing SARS Cov-2 virus prevailing in the country.”

Similarly, the samples of coronavirus strain collected from Kerala have found to have undergone two more mutations namely C120Y and P84T. These mutations were noted in the samples analyzed earlier this month. However, these two mutations found in Kerala are restricted to that state and the numbers of people affected with these strains is also very low.

The CCMB researchers embarked on the analysis of the samples of the prevailing SARS-Cov-2 virus in India after the news of the highly virulent coronavirus mutant strain prevailing in UK came into force last month causing concern among the scientific community and healthcare experts in India.

“The basic objectives of analyzing the SARS-Cov-2 virus samples are to check on the mutations of the virus and its abilities to be virulent. As we have all been worried with the highly virulent Covid-19 virus prevailing UK, we also wanted to ascertain if the prevailing virus in India may also have undergone any mutation and if so how is it going to impact on our society,” observed a senior scientist involved in the analysis of the virus samples.

It is learnt from the CCMB research that though some samples collected from various states have shown mutations, however it is noted that those mutant strains are restricted to only to one or two states and they are found to be not much virulent. The scientists are now preparing a comprehensive data base of all the strains of mutant viruses and identifying which virus strain is more virulent and which is not.

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