COVID-19 caseload has crossed 164.6 million with 3.41 million deaths globally, according to the John Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
The Center further reported that the US still leads the highest number with over five hundred thousand deaths and 33 million CoronaVirus cases.
In terms of deaths, Brazil is second with over 44 hundred thousand fatalities, and India is second with the most cases of infected people, with over 25 million. So far, India has clocked over 100,000 deaths.
Despite the US still reporting more cases and deaths, there is a serious concern with India's COVID-19 crisis across the world. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO), revealed the new variant B.1.617, which emerged in India is dubbed as 'double mutant.' The two key mutations are making the virus slightly more transmissible, according to scientists. This new variation is making it hard for the antibodies to block the virus, and the research is on to identify and assess the quantity of immunity is lost.
Dr. Swaminathan stated that the virus has brought to the forefront the fact that it doesn't respect borders, age, nationalities. So what is being played out in India can start happening to the world again.
Despite the travel restrictions, quarantines, multiple tests, the infection can leak and become prevalent. Though this Indian variant is not termed as an escape mutation, which means no vaccine will work on it as per Dr. Jeff Barrett, the director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, we still need to observe it carefully.
Experts have further warned that with a spike in COVID-19 cases in a country, there is an immense possibility of new variants emerging more frequently. The simple reason is that with every single infection, the virus will emerge with the chance of mutations arising. This can render the vaccines ineffective.
Hence the researchers, doctors, and scientists believe that the only possible way to limit the emergence of the viral variant is to prevent the replicating of the virus in us. This is possible with social distancing measures, following the lockdown protocols, and up the world's vaccination.
India needs to put pressure on the pedal and increase the rate of vaccination drive, which is relatively slow. It has been reported that less than 10% of its population has received its first dose of vaccine, with barely 2% being fully vaccinated.
Despite the Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer being in India, it has failed to have a proper COVID-19 vaccination drive. This is a significant reason that the surge of the COVID cases in India can have a domino effect on the rest of the world.