AY.4.2 lineage of COVID-19: Will the third wave of coronavirus hit India soon?
With the decline in the COVID-19 cases pan India and festivities around the corner, the state governments have lifted the restrictions on the movement of people which might trigger the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
So far, 17 new cases of AY.4.2 lineage have been detected across India. Being a sub-lineage of the Delta variant (responsible for the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India), AY.4.2 has raised concerns for an impending third wave of COVID-19.
AY.4.2 variant of COVID-19
Detected in more than 40 countries, AY.4.2 is the sub-lineage of B.1.617.2 (Delta Variant) and contains two mutations in its spike protein-- A222V and Y145H.
The official name to the sub-lineage of Delta variant, VUI-21OCT-01, has been given by UK Health Security Agency. It is important to note that the Delta variant remains by far the most dominant variant in terms of global circulation.
Cases and Transmissibility
According to WHO, a total of 26,000 cases of the new variant have been detected so far and AY.4.2 variant is 15 times more transmissible than the original Delta variant.
"The global number of reported cases and deaths from Covid-19 is now increasing for the first time in two months, driven by an ongoing rise in Europe that outweighs declines in other regions. It’s another reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. The virus will mutate and continue to circulate unless it is controlled," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Majority Cases of AY.4.2
The majority of AY.4.2 cases have been reported from countries such as Russia, China and England. COVID-19 cases in England are at an all-time high since the beginning of 2021. One in every 50 people in England is infected with the virus.
The impending third wave of COVID-19 in India
Ahead of the Diwali festival, the authorities in India have reiterated the importance of wearing face masks and social distancing and have decided to impose COVID-19 restrictions to minimise the threat of the impending third wave.
Further, the COVID-19 vaccination drive is being carried out in full swing in India. Over 50% population of the country has been administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Also Read | What is C.1.2 variant of COVID-19?