He described B.1.617.2 as "slightly concerning" given the recent rise in cases that have been reported and warned that health officials need to be "cautious" as there is a lack of clear data surrounding the variant.
Inoculation at district hospital in New Delhi, India, on April 22, 2021.
On Saturday, the institute confirmed that the COVID-19 variant first detected in India, B.1.617.2 arrived in the country, with four confirmed cases.
Often called a 'double mutant, ' the strain has mutations to two parts of its spike protein that help it latch onto human cells, B.16.17 has split into three closely related sublineages that together account for more than 75 percent of cases in India, and a little more than one percent of US cases. Deaths rose by more than 4,000 for a second consecutive day on Sunday.
India's healthcare system is close to breaking point.
Saskia Popescu, an infectious-disease expert who is an assistant professor at George Mason University, said that Americans should not be lulled into thinking the virus is defeated, because "we have to see the crisis in India as a wake-up call for global vaccine equity and that COVID-19 isn't gone anywhere until it's gone everywhere".
Swaminathan said, "In fact, people should go ahead and get whatever vaccine is available to them".
The WHO has said the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India last December, although an earlier version was spotted in October 2020.
But so far it has stopped short of adding it to its short list of "variants of concern" - a label indicating it is more risky than the original version of the virus by being more transmissible, deadly or able to get past vaccine protections.
Donald Trump launches new communication site for fans after Twitter ban
Trump , is web-browser-based only, has no mobile app, and does not even allow comments, or posts to be embedded. It also allows leaders to interact with other public figures and engage in "foreign policy saber-rattling".
"W$3 e are classifying this as a variance of concern at the global level", she said Monday.
But even as many in India felt the crisis was over, dropping mask-wearing and other protection measures, the virus was quietly spreading.
"We can't blame it on imported variants, it's local transmission that has been on the increase", he said.
Additional information is expected to be released Tuesday, she said.
While India is now trying to scale up vaccination to rein in the outbreak, Swaminathan warned that the jabs alone would not be enough to gain control of the situation.
"We need everybody's help with this".
The surge in India is frightening not only due to the horrifying number of people who are sick and dying there, but also because the exploding infection numbers dramatically increase the chances of new and more risky variants emerging.
Suliman said that from his understanding, the "Indian variant" was highly transmissible but not necessarily more risky than the variant dominant in South Africa.
"She also said the mutations could cause variants to become resistant to the available vaccines".