What We Know So Far About the Origin of COVID-19 and New Mutations
The Big StoryMarch 31, 2021
00:12:4811.76 MB

What We Know So Far About the Origin of COVID-19 and New Mutations

The Indian government warned in a statement on 30 March that the COVID-19 situation in India is going from 'bad to worse,' and is a risk to the entire country.

India on 31 March, reported 53,480 new cases, taking the tally in the country to 1,21,49,335. The death toll increased by 354 to 1,62,468.

While new variants are emerging across the world, the most recently in Israel, there is also news on the origin of the virus. The World Health Organisation on 30 March released a joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 and stated that the virus most like spread from bats to humans.

However, the agencies own chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and 14 other countries have raised concerns over the report and have demanded further investigation into a theory the outbreak was the result of a laboratory leak.

As COVID-19 gathers steam once more in India, making its presence felt in Maharashtra, Punjab and now even Delhi, the health ministry on 24 March announced that genome sequencing by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) has shown variants of concern (VOCs) and a novel double mutant variant in India.

In today’s episode, we will analyse the findings of the WHO report and also the variants of concern as this “second wave” gains speed in India.

Host and Producer: Himmat Shaligram
Guest: Dr Shahid Jameel, Virologist and Director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University
Editor: Shelly Walia

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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