A double mutant Covid-19 variant has been detected in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district.

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said a person infected with “double mutant” variant of the coronavirus has been detected at Dibrugarh airport.

The new variant, called B.1.617, was initially detected in India with two mutations — the E484Q and L452R.

It was first reported late last year by a scientist in India and more details were presented before the WHO later.

This variant increases its transmissibility and ability to bypass the immune response.

The double mutation B.1.617, according to multiple reports, triggers changes in the spike protein that makes it more infectious to humans.

The two mutations make it more difficult for the immune system to recognise the Coronavirus.

However, the effect of the double mutation should not be overstated. So far, all vaccines in circulation have been reported to be effective against all kinds of virus variants, and the ongoing surges have not been empirically linked to the B.1.617 mutation.

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