(Dan Tri) – The World Health Organization (WHO) assesses the SARS-CoV-2 variant in India called B.1.617 as a more contagious variant and of `global concern`.

The B.1.617 variant may be the main cause of the Covid-19 outbreak in India and many other countries (Photo: AFP).

`There is some information showing that the B.1.617 strain in India is more contagious. Therefore, we classify this strain as a strain of global concern,` said Maria Van Kerkove, head of the group.

The WHO official also mentioned previous studies showing that the B.1.617 strain has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.

Thus, the variant in India is officially classified as `worrying` along with the variant first discovered in England, Brazil and South Africa.

The group of `worrying` strains includes strains that show signs of being more transmissible, more virulent, or more resistant to vaccines.

The B.1.617 variant was first discovered in India and has now spread to at least 21 other countries.

The emergence of this variant is believed to be the main cause of the outbreak of an unprecedented serious Covid-19 wave in India.

The rapid spread of Covid-19 has overwhelmed the Indian health system.

Despite changing the assessment of the severity of the B.1.617 variant, WHO officials emphasized that there are no recommendations for any changes in vaccination, testing, diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19.

`We will continue to monitor variants of global concern and we must do everything we can to stop the spread,` Ms. Van Kerkhove said.