The State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Vector sees no preconditions for the Indian strain of COVID-19 to trigger a new and more serious pandemic, stressing that the sanitary and epidemiological measures taken by Russia are effective against new coronavirus variants.
"The comprehensive sanitary and epidemiological measures taken in Russia, including the use of vaccines, are characterized by efficiency not only against the original strain, but also against new variants of the virus. With the current level of control over the situation, there are no preconditions for the Indian strain to cause a new or more a serious pandemic," the research center told TASS in a statement.
During the pandemic, Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing gained vast experience in countering the COVID-19 spread, including monitoring and evaluating the potential of new variants of SARS-CoV-2.
On Monday, The Straits Times published an interview with Professor Teo Yik Ying, Dean of the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, who warned that the Indian strain (the B1617 COVID-19 variant) was becoming increasingly dominant worldwide and could worsen the pandemic.
The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare voiced concerns in late March, announcing that a new coronavirus strain based on two mutations in the S protein had been discovered in the country. According to other reports, these mutations are detected in about 15-20% of samples and are not found in the British, South African and Brazilian strains.