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A new “double mutant” variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been discovered in India, health officials there said Wednesday.
The country’s Health Ministry said the variant had been detected in more than 200 samples sequenced in the Maharashtra state.
The variant has two mutations to the spike protein that the virus uses to penetrate human cells.
It’s unclear whether the mutation would enable it to be more transmissible, but other variants with changes to their spike proteins have been spreading rapidly around the globe.
Officials, however, said the double-mutant variant had not been detected in large enough numbers to be linked to recent surges.
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