Like the Delta variant, the Lambda variant, which has now been detected in more than 25 countries, is feared to be more transmissible than the original virus, although it is not yet established because of lack of enough studies on it. It has been the dominant variant in Peru and other countries of South America. The Lambda variant has not yet been found in the Indian population, but has recently been detected in the UK and other European countries. The Lambda variant is not a new emergence. It has been around at least since last year, possibly as early as August 2020. In Peru, where it is believed to have originated, it accounts for almost 80% of the infections. It is the dominant strain in neighbouring Chile as well.
But until recently, it was largely concentrated in a handful of South American countries, including Ecuador and Argentina. Since the end of March, this variant has been detected in more than 25 countries, although the numbers are still very small. The UK, for example, said it had found this variant in six infected people, all international travellers. Recently, it has also been found in Australia. According to the WHO, the Lambda variant has at least seven significant mutations in the spike protein (the Delta variant has three) which could have a range of implications, including the possibility of increased transmissibility or enhanced resistance to antibodies, created either through natural infection or vaccination A recent study by researchers at the Chile reported that the Lambda variant had greater infectivity than the Alpha and Gamma variants (known to have originated in the UK and Brazil respectively).
The study also reported decreased effectiveness of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine (CoronaVac) against the Lambda variant. There are currently seven variants, including the Lambda, that the WHO classifies as “variants of interest”. Another four – Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta – have been designated as “variants of concern”, and are considered a bigger threat. These were all recently named after letters of the Greek alphabet to avoid linkage with the country of their origin that had been happening until then. The Lambda variant has so far not been found in India or neighbouring countries. In Asia, only Israel has reported this variant until now. But several countries in Europe from where travel to India is frequent, including France, Germany, UK, and Italy have reported this variant.
The potential of emerging variants to bypass the immunity gained through vaccination means that there could be fresh waves of infections even in populations that were being considered close to reaching community-level protection. That is what is happening in many countries in Europe right now, particularly in the UK. There has been a sharp rise in cases in several countries in the last few weeks. That means that a country like India, which is still recovering from the debilitating second wave, would need to proactively watch out for, and prevent the spread of any new variant that could trigger a fresh wave.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge