As India battles a second wave of COVID cases, a triple-mutant variant has emerged. The country had already been battling a new double-mutated version of the virus that has quickly spread across the nation.
Scientists say they have found two triple-mutant variants in patients. Dubbed the “Bengal strain”, they fear it may be even more infectious than the double-mutant variant. To compound the problem. the new triple-mutant is also an “immune escape variant” — a strain that helps the virus attach to human cells and hide from the immune system.
The new Bengal strain also carries the E484K mutation found in the South Africa and Brazil variants.
India recorded a daily high of 314,835 COVID cases on April 15. The record was broken within 24 hours when the country announced that it recorded 332,730 new cases and 2,263 deaths the next day. India now has over 16 million COVID cases, second only to the US record of 32 million cases.