COVID-19: Only 'Delta variant' of B.1.617, is now 'of concern', says WHO.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that only one strain of the COVID-19 Delta variant that was first detected in India is now considered " of concern", while they have downgraded the other two strains.



The B.1.617, which was responsible for the massive coronavirus outburst, divided into three lineages has been dubbed a triple mutant variant. Source - Multiple.


Last month, the entire strain was declared a " variety of concern "or VOC by the UN health agency, but on Tuesday, it said that only one of the sub-lineage is of Concern.


"It has become clear that greater public health risks are currently associated with B.1.617.2, while we have observed lower rates of transmission of other lineages," the World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic.

Along with the three other variants, the B.1.617.2 variant remains a VOC as they are more dangerous than the original version and are more contagious or can get pass through vaccine immunity.


The B.1.617.2 variant of the coronavirus, first detected in India, has been renamed the ' Delta variant'. In a statement, the WHO said that it convened an expert group that recommended using easy-to-pronounce and non-stigmatizing labels for Variants of Interest (VOIs) and Variants of Concern (VOC).


"We continue to observe significantly increased transmissibility and a growing number of countries reporting outbreaks associated with this variant," the UN agency said.
"Further studies into the impact of this variant remain a top priority for WHO.

Variants no longer classified as VOCs or VOIs will continue to be monitored as part of the overall evolution of SARS-CoV-2, and maybe reassessed pending fresh evidence showing an increased public health risk, WHO said.


Also, a new hybrid variant which is appeared to be a variation of Delta has been announced by the health authorities of Vietnam on Saturday.


"What we understand is that it is this B.1.617.2 variant with one additional deletion in the spike's location protein.
We know that the B.1.617.2, the Delta variant, has increased transmissibility, which means it can spread easier between people." WHO's the technical lead on Covid-19 Maria Van Kerkhove told reporters Tuesday.

The B.1.617.1 sub-lineage, dubbed Kappa has got downgraded to a "variant of interest".


Also, the B.1.617.3, according to WHO is now not even considered of interest since "relatively few reports of this variant have been submitted to date." And they have attributed no Greek letter to it.


India reported the highest numbers of new COVID-19 cases in the past week at 1,364,668, a 26 percent decrease compared to the previous week.