New Delhi: The lambda variant of COVID-19 has not been reported in India so far, sources said on Wednesday.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Pragya Yadav, head of the National Institute of Virology's Maximum Containment Facility, "Lambda variant has been detected in 30 countries. Lambda variant was first reported from Peru, in December 2020. The number of cases reported from this variant is increasing in different countries, indicating it to be highly transmissible. A recent study revealed that the lambda variant is susceptible to mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies and convalescent serum was able to neutralize the lambda variant."
Notably, the lambda variant has been designated as a 'Variant of Interest' by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Asked if the variant has been reported in India, Dr Yadav said, "No, so far India has not reported any case of lambda variant."
A new COVID-19 strain called 'Lambda' is much more dangerous than the Delta variant, said the UK Health Ministry adding that it has been detected in more than 30 countries in the past four weeks.
On Monday, the UK Health Ministry tweeted, "The Lambda strain was reported to have originated from Peru, the country with the highest mortality rate in the world."
Lambda accounts for nearly 82 percent of the coronavirus case samples reported during May and June in Peru, Euro News reported citing the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).
Recently, Public Health England in the UK reported a handful of cases caused by Lambda had been detected in the country and recognised it as having "a potential increased transmissibility or possible increased resistance to neutralizing antibodies".