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Oman studying reports on Indian variants

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The Ministry of Health Monday reported 1,093 cases and 10 death, of which 585 cases and four deaths were from the capital.

While the recovery rate has gone up to 90.4 percent, 90 patients were still admitted, bringing the total number of inpatients to 816, including 285 in intensive care units.

The total number of cases registered in the Sultanate has now reached 196,900, including 2,053 deaths.

Meanwhile, the variant of the coronavirus found in India and the possibility of its arrival to the Sultanate is a matter of concern, said a senior consultant at Royal Hospital.

"There is a concern in the world about the new strain found in India for several reasons, including the speed of its spread, high infection rates, and deaths. There is not much information about it currently. The world is awaiting reports, either from the Indian government or the World Health Organisation, to know the details of the new variants. Reports will also be issued from the countries that have recorded infections with the Indian strain."

He said, "It is clear from the statistical readings that the Indian strain is fast spreading and has a great impact and the same seriousness as the previous strains, and it may be more. The epidemiological situation in India is very worrying. It is recording the largest number of infections in the world and daily deaths at present in India. All countries do not want the mutated strains to reach them."

The official said that the Sultanate is not isolated from the world. It is certainly concerned as other countries about the new variants coming here as, especially with the presence of the Indian community and the fact that flights did not stop until a short time ago. “Theoretically, there is a possibility of the presence of the strain in the Sultanate, but no cases have been recorded to date."

The Indian variant has raised global concern after being reported in some 17 countries, including Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the United States, Singapore, and Fiji.

The B.1.617 variant contains two key mutations to the outer spike portion of the virus, referred to as E484Q and L452R. Both are separately found in many other coronavirus variants, but this is the first time reported together.

The WHO says more study is urgently needed. Laboratory-based studies of limited sample size suggested potential increased transmissibility, it concluded.

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