• Sat. Oct 23rd, 2021

Indian variant, Ecdc: “Cautious in easing measures and being vigilant”


May 12, 2021

With the Indian variant of the Coronavirus in circulation, attention must remain high in Europe. This is the meaning of the report of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc), in a document in which it assesses the extent of the threat represented by this variant in the Old Continent. “In the European Union / European Economic Area, there are indications that the detection frequency” of at least two of the sub-lineages of the Indian variant (B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2) “is increasing”, reports the center, in a document in which it assesses the extent of the threat posed in Europe by this variant and lists the possible response options. From improving surveillance to giving “absolute priority” to anti-Covid vaccinations aimed at “reducing mortality”, thus covering “people at risk of serious illness in the shortest possible time” and reducing the transmission of Sars-CoV-2 , as recently documented in Israel and the UK. Read also It is in particular the United Kingdom that has seen a rapid rise in the detections of this variant, cases associated with travel to India and subsequent transmission in the community, so much so that the country has designated it (in reference to the sub-lineage B.1.617.2) as a variant of concern. At this moment, the document points out, the ECDC instead maintains its evaluation of the Indian variant “as a variant of interest” and “will continue to actively monitor the situation”. Meanwhile, as long as “vaccine coverage remains at low levels in all EU / EEA countries, the ECDC currently advises caution in easing current non-pharmacological measures, including those relating to travel “, warns the European center. “The limited information so far regarding these new variants does not change the current position on these measures. A greater understanding of the risks is needed before any changes to the current measures can be considered,” points out the ECDC. of this variant “have distinct mutation profiles and require individual evaluation. Given the still very limited data available regarding their transmissibility, disease severity and potential for immune escape, it is not yet possible to fully assess their impact”, specifies the One point of the answer is vigilance: “In order to better understand and inform assessments” on the Indian variant “targeted genomic surveillance should be improved”, investigating travel-related cases, outbreaks that suddenly ignite and change the local picture, “together with the antigenic characterization of the variants of Sars-CoV-2 and a so reinforced general surveillance “, asks the ECDC. “Diagnostic laboratories should remain vigilant” regarding test results and correlation with circulating genomes.