5 travelers who entered Georgia have tested positive for the so-called Indian strain of coronavirus, announced the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC).
The Center said that all those infected have been identified and isolated.
“As part of its competence, the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health is constantly monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2 strains circulating in the country. Recently, it was revealed that 5 individuals who entered the country were infected with the Indian strain of SARS-CoV-2.
“All infected are identified and isolated. They entered Georgia at different times, from the same country, but are citizens of different countries. Three of them have already left the country.
“Based on the data obtained from epidemiological studies, their clinical condition is satisfactory,” the statement said.
This variant, officially known as B.1.617, was first detected in India in October.
The B.1.617 variant, which was classified as a variant of concern on May 6, 2021, has three subtypes – B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 – each with small differences in their genetic make-up.
Regarding the effectiveness of existing COVID vaccines worldwide, scientists believe the available vaccines will help control the variant when it comes to preventing severe illness.
Data from the UK on vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.617.2 variant has recently been released. It found:
- Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca are 33% effective against symptomatic disease (COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, dry cough and tiredness) three weeks after the first dose;
- The Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against symptomatic disease two weeks after the second dose;
- The AstraZeneca vaccine is 60% effective against symptomatic disease two weeks after the second dose.
The study was led by Public Health England.
By Ana Dumbadze