Mumbai, May 12: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday said that the B.1.617 variant of COVID-19, which was first found in India in October last year, has been detected in dozens of countries across the world. Notably, it is the same variant behind the second wave of coronavirus in India. The variant was detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to the GISAID  open-access database from 44 countries in all six WHO regions.

The organisation, in its weekly epidemiological update on coronavirus, said that it received reports of detections from five additional countries. Notably, apart from India, Britain reported the largest number of COVID-19 cases caused by the Indian variant. B.1.617 variant counts three sub-linages. Earlier this week, the WHO declared it as a variant of concern. India's B.1.617 COVID-19 Variant Classified as Variant of Concern at the Global Level by WHO; From Increased Transmissibility to Vaccination, Everything We Know so Far.

The Indian variant is kept with three other variants detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil. According to a report published in global news agency AFP, these are more dangerous than the original version of coronavirus. B.1.617 variant reportedly transmits more easily as compared to others. COVID-19 Double Mutant B.1.617: How Dangerous Is This Indian Variant of SARS-CoV-2? Everything You Want to Know.

As per the WHO, the Indian variant of the virus was more resistant to the monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab, "WHO found that resurgence and acceleration of Covid-19 transmission in India had several potential contributing factors, including increase in the proportion of cases of SARS-CoV-2 variants with potentially increased transmissibility," reported the new agency quoting the global health organisation as saying.

India is the second-worst-affected country due to COVID-19. Currently, the number of active cases in India is over 37 lakh. India's total tally of COVID-19 cases now stands at 2,29,92,517 and 2,49,992 deaths so far. Till Tuesday, a total of 17,27,10,066 people were vaccinated.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 12, 2021 09:23 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website