Here is everything you need to know about the fast-spreading Lambda variant of Covid-19:
It looks like the Covid pandemic is far from over, the virus is mutating and there is now another variant of it. Lambda variant of the coronavirus is emerging as one of the leading causes of the spread of the infection. According to the Malaysian health ministry, it has spread to 30 countries so far, including the UK.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated lambda as a ‘variant of interest’. Six cases of this variant have been reported in the UK to date, and all have been linked to overseas travel. The earliest documented sample was reported in Peru.
As per WHO, the Sars-CoV-2 virus which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has changed over time. Some of these changes impact the properties of the virus, like how easily it spreads, the associated severity, or the performance of vaccines.
The organization has formed a network of health experts across the world to monitor and assess the evolution of Sars-CoV-2
The lambda variant
This is not a new strain, it was first identified in Peru in December last year, it now accounts for almost 80% of the infections in the country. The lambda variant is usually associated with higher transmissibility and resistance to antibodies, but health experts have said that more data is needed to firmly establish this fact.
A study conducted in Peru claims that the lambda variant is able to easily escape the antibodies generated by the CoronaVac vaccine developed by China. However, the study is yet to be reviewed by experts.
Is lambda the only variant of interest?
Well, no. The WHO website has also listed Eta (B.1.525), Iota (B.1.526), and Kappa (B.1.617.1) as other variants of interest.
Should India worry about the Lambda variant?
By now, the Lambda variant has not been found in India or neighboring countries. In Asia, only Israel has reported this variant until now. But several countries in Europe from where travel to India is frequent, including France, Germany, UK, and Italy have recently reported this variant.