India variant of COVID-19 found in 44 countries: WHO

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that a variant of Covid-19 behind the explosion of cases in India has been found in dozens of countries all over the world.

The UN health agency said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, first found in India in October, had been detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to an open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions”. Its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic said it had received reports of detections from five additional countries.

Outside of India, it said that Britain had reported the largest number of Covid cases caused by the variant.

Meanwhile, deaths from Covid in India rose by another record amount in the last 24 hours. Fatalities were up by 4,205, the health ministry said, while daily coronavirus cases rose by 348,421.