New virus strains more
infectious but not fatally
Even as India records the highest ever surge in Covid cases, the
country's top virologists and medical experts say that new strains
of coronavirus are not so dangerous as perceived by many.
"Though new strains of virus are spreading faster, causing
breathlessness in more numbers, but its fatality rate is not so
dangerous if compared to the previous ones," Amulya Panda,
Director of National Institute of Immunology (NII), India's
premier institute for developing vaccines, told IANS.
The NII Chief, who led a team of top scientists in developing a new
protein based vaccine for Covid-19, said that as of now, the initial
findings suggests that various new strains of virus could be
dangerous but not more dangerous than the earlier ones.
"We cannot predict that how lethal they (Covid's new strains)
would be in near future for us...but as of now they are not so
dangerous," reiterated Panda, who is also the visiting scientist of
University of California at Berkeley.
Explaining the behaviour pattern of the new coronavirus strains,
Panda said, "The fundamental quality of this virus is that it keeps
on mutating. For instance, just see the HIV virus. It's been decades
now but we have not been able to develop a vaccine against
HIV...the reason is that HIV virus mutates on a daily basis. Read