New COVID-19 variant spreading rapidly in UK: Anthony Fauci

Anthony Fauci

US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has warned about the risks of the COVID-19 variant that was first discovered in India. According to the World Health Organisation, the variant has spread to over 60 countries.

The variant known by the scientific name B.1.617.2 is highly transmissable and has been found in more than 6 percent of the sequenced Covid-19 infections in the US, Fauci said. It is now the dominant strain in the UK, accounting for an estimated 60 percent of new cases, replacing the B.1.1.7 strain, he added.

Meanwhile, Fauci said that he was not ‘convinced’ that the COVId-19 virus was developed naturally. He further called for an open investigation into China to investigate the virus’ origins.

It is to be noted that the first case of coronavirus emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. Fauci also said that there was the possibility that the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan lab.

“Do you think it’s possible that Covid-19 arose from a lab accident in Wuhan, and should it be fully investigated?” Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), a doctor, asked Fauci during a Senate hearing on May 11.

“That possibility certainly exists, and I am totally in favour of a full investigation of whether that could have happened,” Fauci replied.

(IANS inputs)

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