COVID-19: All you need to know about the new coronavirus variant 'Kappa'

By Lokmat English Desk | Published: July 9, 2021 09:07 PM2021-07-09T21:07:00+5:302021-07-09T21:07:00+5:30

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Two cases of Kappa variant of Covid-19 have been recorded in Uttar Pradesh, an official statement issued by the state government said on Friday.

Out of the 109 samples, for which genome sequencing had been done at King George’s medical college in Lucknow, Delta Plus variant was found in 107 and the Kappa variant was found in two samples, the statement said.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), Kappa is one of the two Covid-19 variants –– the other being Delta –– first identified in India.

Three weeks after India raised objection over the B.1.617.1 mutant of the novel coronavirus being termed an “Indian Variant”, including the media, the WHO had named this variant ‘Kappa’ and B.1.617.2 ‘Delta’ just as it named various variants of the coronavirus using Greek alphabets.

WHO at present has not classified this variant as a variant of concern. Like Lambda, which has already spread in 30 countries across the world, Kappa is a variant of interest.

According to the Munich-based GISAID, which maintains a worldwide database of coronavirus genomes, India has so far submitted 3,693 Kappa samples, the highest in the world.

In the past four weeks, two samples of the variant were submitted by India.

To name variants, WHO convened a group of scientists and experts to consider easy-to-pronounce and non-stigmatising labels for VOI (Variants of Interest) and VOC (Variants of Concern).

Last month, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University, which was published in the journal Cell, vaccines made by AstraZeneca were effective against Delta and Kappa variants of COVID-19. In India, AstraZeneca vaccine is used as Covishield.

According to experts, people suffering from the Kappa variant of the corona virus may experience primary symptoms such as cough, fever, and sore throat. The same mild and severe symptoms will be the same as the symptoms of other mutants of the coronavirus.