The government on Friday said that no cases of ‘MU’ variant of Coronavirus have been detected from over 51,000 samples analysed so far in India.
“We are closely monitoring the new Coronavirus ‘Variants of Interest’ named MU and no case has been detected so far in India,” the Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Dr Balram Bhargav said.
This new Coronavirus variant ‘MU’ was identified first in Colombia in January 2021, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has designated the MU strain of Coronavirus as a ‘variant of interest’.
The WHO has warned that the new MU variant shows signs of possible resistance to the vaccines. The WHO said in a statement, “Based on the latest round of assessments, B.1.621 was classified as a Variant of Interest on August 30 and given the WHO label MU”.
“The MU variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape. Preliminary data presented to the Virus Evolution Working Group show a reduction in neutralization capacity of convalescent and vaccines sera similar to that seen for the Beta variant, but this needs to be confirmed by further studies,” the bulletin added.
Commenting on the MU variant, NITI Ayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul said that government and health scientists are keeping a close watch on this variant of interest.
“It is a must to administer both doses of vaccine and follow the Covid appropriate behaviour to fight against any Covid variant”, he added.
But one reassuring element is that, despite being around since January 2021, it doesn’t seem to be outcompeting Delta, the dominant variant across most of the world, sources said.
If Mu was truly a really bad variant, we would have expected to have started to see indications of this, and we haven’t yet, they said.