INDIA

Team Investigating New COVID-19 Variant AY.4.2: Centre Amid Reports Of Cases In India

UK Health Security Agency had said that it was investigating the AY.4.2 strain as it could possibly be more transmissible than the Delta variant

Mumbai: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday informed that the new subvariant of the Covid-19 virus that has been detected in the United Kingdom is currently under scrutiny by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

During a press conference, the minister said, “A team is investigating the new Covid-19 variant AY.4.2… ICMR and NCDC teams study and analyse the different variants. It would be wrong to say how contagious it is now. Let the variant be investigated.”

Last week, the UK Health Security Agency had said that it was investigating the AY.4.2 strain as it could possibly be more transmissible than the Delta variant. However, there is no evidence to prove that it causes more severe infection or is ineffective against the vaccine.

Mandaviya said that “WHO has a system” to decide on things while commenting on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) approval of indigenous vaccine COVAXIN, manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

“WHO has a system in which there is a technical committee which has approved it (Covaxin), while the other committee is meeting today. The approval for Covaxin will be given on the basis of today’s meeting. We are hoping to get a decision on this today,” the Health Minister said.

Meanwhile, more documents have been sought from Bharat Biotech for EUA approval of Covaxin for kids.

Regarding the Zydus Cadila vaccine ZyCoV-D, Mandaviya said that there is a discussion underway to finalise the pricing of the new vaccine.

“Children’s vaccine ZyCoV-D’s pricing is under discussion. After they got the emergency use approval (EUA), the manufacturing started. It will be soon rolled out soon,” he said.

“There is no interference from the government. The Drugs Controller General of India takes their decision. It won’t be appropriate for us to comment on it,” he added.

Talking about the reports of the Zika virus in Kanpur, he said that authorities as assessing the situation closely.

Mandaviya will meet Health Ministers of states tomorrow over the ramping up of vaccine administration.

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