An expert has warned that India has reported a “triple mutant” variant which will be found elsewhere in the world.
India reported a further 314,835 cases on Thursday and hospitals in the country have warned that they only have a few hours of oxygen left to keep patients alive.
Professor Srinath Reddy warned that the “triple mutant” variant will be found elsewhere and it is unclear if this strain can evade vaccines.
Professor Reddy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “A double mutant was first reported with features that were previously noted in Brazil and South Africa and then in California.
“Another mutant has been described and found in other parts of India.
“While the double mutant has been noted in more than 20 countries, this triple mutant which has just been described has been tracked in India and I’m sure it will be tracked elsewhere too.
“But how dangerous is it and how it can escape vaccine potential?
“It ought to be studied but certainly, it does appear that this is now ramping up the cases.”
Patients are being advised to stay at home as more than two thirds of hospitals have no vacant beds and the “situation is critical.”
Dr Kirit Gadhvi, President of the Medical Association in the western city of Ahmedabad told Reuters, “The situation is very critical.
“Patients are struggling to get beds in Covid-19 hospitals. There is especially acute shortage of oxygen.”
Assistant Professor Krutika Kuppalli, at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Medical University of South Carolina in the US, warned on Twitter the crisis was leading to a collapse of the healthcare system.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the executive chairman of Biocon & Biocon Biologics, an Indian healthcare firm, wrote in the Economic Times, “We never thought a second wave would hit us so hard.
“Complacency led to unanticipated shortages of medicines, medical supplies and hospital beds.”