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Indian COVID-19 Variant Found In Group Of Students In Belgium: Health Officials

The Covid-19 variant that is currently contributing to a surge in coronavirus cases in India has been detected in Belgium, Belgian authorities reportedly said.



On Thursday, the Belgian authorities reportedly said that the COVID-19 variant that is currently contributing to a surge in coronavirus cases in India has been detected in Belgium in a group of Indian students. These students arrived in Belgium from Paris.

As per media reports, in mid-April twenty nursing students have tested positive for the variant-- who arrived in Belgium from the French capital's Charles de Gaulle Airport. At present these students have been placed in quarantine centre in northern Belgium's Aalst and Leuven as they had been due to begin a training course.

According to several experts, the students must have been the victims of a "super-spreader". Either a member of their group or another passenger on the bus who brought them to Belgium from Paris might be the spreader. 

A microbiologist Emmanuel Andre of the Catholic University of Leuven took to Twitter and said, "these students have been respecting strict isolation since their arrival. Currently, 20 students out of the 43 students are infected by the 'Indian variant."

The B.1.617 variant has already appeared elsewhere, including in the United States, Australia, Israel and Singapore. Concern about it has led some countries, including the UK, to slap travel restrictions on India.

Triple Mutation Strain Detected In 4 Indian States  

An extremely potent triple mutation strain of Coronavirus is being detected across various states in the country. As per reports, the COVID-19 triple mutation strain also known as the B.1.618 has been detected across 4 states in India namely-- Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh. Triple mutation occurs when three different strains combine together to form a new variant. It is important to mention that the COVID-19 triple mutation strain is plasma therapy ineffective.

Triple Mutant COVID-19 Strain

As the virus gets more ground to replicate, often it experiences genetic mutations to become more immune to the environment and escape medicines to enable its spread. Even though most mutations don’t cause any additional harm and don’t show significant changes, others are. Triple mutant has three different strains that have combined together to form a fresh variant. One of the variants in triple mutation is E484K which is also identified as a “major immune escape variant.”


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