After Uttar Pradesh and Tripura, now Rajasthan reported new cases of the Kappa variant of COVID-19 on Tuesday, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a variant of interest.
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that eleven cases have been detected in the state. Of these, four cases each are from Alwar and Jaipur, two from Barmer, and one is from Bhilwara. However, Sharma informed that the Kappa variant ‘is a moderate form of the coronavirus’ as compared to its delta variant, which had fuelled India’s second wave of coronavirus.
Earlier, two samples in Uttar Pradesh and 11 in Tripura were tested positive for the Kappa COVID-19 variant.
B.1.617.1, also known as the Kappa variant, was first identified in India only, in October 2020.
On WHO’s list of SARS-CoV-2 variants, a VOI is a variant with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape. The variant is also identified to cause significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside an increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health.