Passengers queue up to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus after arriving at a railway platform on a long distance train in Mumbai on July 9, 2021.
Passengers queue up to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus after arriving at a railway platform on a long distance train in Mumbai on July 9, 2021.
(Photo by AFP)

Even as there is no evidence of any case of Lambda variant in India, the Centre on Friday said we should be watchful as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it as a "variant of interest".

"Lambda variant of coronavirus is a variant of interest. We should be watchful of such variants. As of now, there is no evidence that this variant has been identified in India," said Dr. VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog.

The Lambda variant of COVID-19 being identified in over 30 countries in the past four weeks. Dr Pragya Yadav, head of the National Institute of Virology's Maximum Containment Facility, has said that this new strain is “highly transmissible”.

“Lambda variant has been detected in 30 countries. Lambda variant was first reported from Peru, in December 2020. The number of cases reported from this variant is increasing in different countries, indicating it to be highly transmissible. A recent study revealed that the Lambda variant is susceptible to mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies and convalescent serum was able to neutralize the Lambda variant,” she said.

On June 14, Lambda strain, previously known as C.37, was identified by (WHO) as the seventh and newest one. WHO said, "Lambda has been associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries, with rising prevalence over time concurrent with increased COVID-19 incidence".

Recently, detected in the UK, Lamda variant has been declared much more dangerous than the Delta variant by the UK Health Ministry. The UK Health Ministry on had tweeted, "The Lambda strain was reported to have originated from Peru, the country with the highest mortality rate in the world."

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