Russia faces serious problems because of Indian coronavirus strain

The Indian coronavirus strain, known as the delta variant or B.1.617, has four dangerous new symptoms, Express reports with reference to Abdul Ghafur, an infectious disease doctor from the Indian city of Chennai.

According to the doctor, the symptoms of the delta variant of COVID-19 are similar to those of common cold: an infected individual develops a headache, runny nose and sore throat. Four new symptoms of the disease have been identified to date: diarrhea, hearing impairment, severe stomach disorders and blood clots that may lead to gangrene.

Doctors note the new variant of the virus is unpredictable and state that any of the above symptoms could indicate an infection.

The publication also said that six leading doctors who observe patients across India identified the following most common symptoms in patients infected with the Indian strain: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hearing loss and joint pain.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the publication said, first evidence suggests that the delta variant, which is currently the most common among COVID-19 patients, carries a higher risk of hospitalization.

British epidemiologist and professor Tim Spector noted that young people infected with B.1.617 were likely to experience "milder symptoms" that may feel like strong cold or some strange feeling of being sick. Professor Spector strongly recommends taking a coronavirus test in case one discovers such symptoms.

The delta variant of the coronavirus has spread to more than 60 countries of the world in the past six months. The Indian strain is believed to be 60 percent more infectious than the previous dominant COVID-19 strain.

On June 21, the Indian authorities announced the emergence of a new strain of COVID-19 — delta plus (B.1.617.2.1). There are already 20 known cases of infection with delta plus. The new subspecies, according to epidemiologists, is distinguished by the presence of the K417N mutation in the spike protein. It is able to reduce the activity of antibodies of recovered and vaccinated individuals.

Russia to conduct extra vaccination program to combat Indian strain

In Russia, vaccinations will be carried out to combat the Indian strain of coronavirus for citizens whose antibody levels have dropped to insufficient, the Kommersant newspaper reports.

Even pregnant women will be vaccinated, the newspaper said. According to the Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine is the most effective protection tool that may reduce the risk of moderate and severe course of the disease by 14 times.

According to experts, at the moment there is no information to confirm either a more severe course of the disease or a higher mortality rate among patients infected with the Indian strain.

Coronavirus in Russia: The latest

In Russia, 17,378 new cases of coronavirus were detected in 85 regions of the country over the past 24 hours. The largest number of infections was reported in Moscow (7,584), the Moscow region (1,811) and St. Petersburg (1,046). As many as 8,361 people fully recovered and 440 people died over the last 24 hours in Russia, operational headquarters to combat the spread of the coronavirus infection said.

In total, 5.334,204 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Russia; 129,801 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic.

On June 20, 17,611 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Russia. In the Moscow region, statistics on detected cases of coronavirus have become a record since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Minister of Health of the region, Svetlana Strigunkova, the number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 has increased by three percent in week, or 8,500 people.