The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has discovered a new variant of the deadly virus, N440K, which is supposedly responsible for creating havoc in Visakhapatnam and other parts of Andhra Pradesh. It is however too early to conclude that this new AP strain is behind the huge surge in some parts of state.
The strain is considered to be at least 15 times more virulent than the earlier ones, and are reportedly even stronger than the Indian variants of B1.617 and B1.618, a report in The Hindu said.
District COVID Special Officer PV Sudhakar said that they have observed that the AP strain has shorter incubation period and the progress of the disease is much rapid than the earlier ones. In the earlier cases, an infected patient would take at least a week to reach the stage of hypoxia or dyspnea, but now patients are reaching this serious condition stage within three or four days. Sudhakar added that the new variant has also led to pressure on beds with oxygen and ICU beds.