Greek authorities hold emergency meeting on Indian strain of coronavirus

The head of the civil protection service, chief epidemiologist of Greece, Sotiris Tsiodras, today held an emergency meeting with the local authorities of Crete about the spread of the Indian Delta strain Covid-19 on the island.

The meeting took place hours after Panayiotis Arkumaneas, head of the Greek National Health Organization EODY, warned the media about the Delta strain. Speaking on Skai FM, Arkumaneas warned that the Delta strain will dominate Greece and become dominant by the end of August.

He reported that new cases of the Delta mutation [Indian variant/Lineage B.1.617] identified in Athens, Crete and Corinth.

“There have already been 11 reported cases of strain of the Delta strain and others are expected to be announced today,” he said. The state broadcaster ERT reported Wednesday afternoon that the number of Delta strain cases in Crete was 9-10, and in the meantime, it has doubled.

The head of EODY warned those who have not been vaccinated that “those who are not vaccinated are in danger.” Arkumaneas stressed that the Indian Delta mutation is 50-60% more infectious. However, he explained that vaccinated citizens are protected from this mutation.


Generation line B.1.617 – virus variant SARS-CoV-2causing COVID-19… Characteristic mutations are L452R, P681R and E484Q. It contains several nested lines (including B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3), slightly differing from each other in characteristic mutations.

Because of the concerns of scientists about the two mutations L452R and E484Q, variant B.1.617 was called the “double mutant”, but this name is misleading, since there are actually more mutations. The E484Q mutation is present in lines B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.3, but absent in B.1.617.2. Laboratory studies have shown that the E484Q mutation reduces the ability of naturally occurring antibodies to neutralize the virus. The L452R mutation is also present in another variant of interest, B.1.427 / B.1.429, associated with increased transmissibility. The P681R mutation also occurs in several other variants and has been hypothesized to increase spread.

Lines B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 were first detected in India in December 2020, and their prevalence coincided with a sharp increase in the incidence in the country. Line B.1.617.3 was first discovered in India in October 2020. According to preliminary WHO simulations, the increased rate of spread of B.1.617 in India compared to other variants of the virus may be due to its increased transmissibility, but there are other concurrently circulating variants showing increased infectiousness.

This strain has caused severe outbreaks the number of infected in Russia since the beginning of May 2021.

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