Denmark reassured over country’s risk from Covid-19 variant detected in India

Denmark reassured over country’s risk from Covid-19 variant detected in India
State Serum Institute medical director Tyra Grove Krause.Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
A new variant of Covid-19 detected in India is not likely to be more infectious than forms of the virus already established in Denmark, according to the national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI).

The Danish agency commented on the variant, B1617, in a statement after 29 cases were detected in Denmark.

India has seen a devastating recent explosion in cases with the variant highly prevalent in the Asian country. Monday saw 2,812 coronavirus-related deaths in India, where over 300,000 new cases have now been recorded in each of the last five days. India’s population is around 1.4 billion.

SSI’s medical director Tyra Grove Krause said in the statement that the B1617 variant does not appear to be more of a threat to the virus situation in Denmark than B117, the already-dominant, more infectious variant originally identified in the United Kingdom.

“We do not have data that suggests that B1617 is more infectious than, for example, B117 and our assessment is also that vaccines will be effective against it,” Krause said.

B1617 is most prevalent in India and in parts of North America as well as in Europe.

Amongst the 29 cases detected in Denmark, only three were found in Danish nationals. 20 were in people from India, with five from Iran and one from Lithuania.

Four different clusters are responsible for the 29 infections, according to SSI. Of these, three have been linked to foreign travel. None of the infected individuals have died.

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