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Watching These

A panel of scientific advisors to the Indian government has marked some SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating there for a closer look, Reuters reports.

India has been experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, and reported some 400,000 new cases on Saturday, according to Reuters. Officials and scientists, it adds, are examining whether a viral variant may be fueling the rise in cases, as a variant called B.1.617 has been found there that, according to some modeling, may have a higher growth rate than other variants.

It now reports that the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium (INSACOG) has identified some variants they suspect may evade immune response, but that more analysis is needed. "Unless you culture those viruses and test them in the lab, you can't say for sure. At this point, there is no reason to believe that they are expanding or if they can be dangerous, but we flagged it so that we keep our eye on the ball," Shahid Jameel, the chair of INSACOG, tells Reuters.