New Delhi, Team Vishvas. A viral post on social media claims that the Health Ministry has issued a warning against a new type of Coronavirus infection Clade A13-I in India. Vishvas spotted the post first on the Helo app. When we searched on facebook, we found it on a page Namma Kumarapalayam with 1,870 followers. Several posts in whats app that Clade A13-I is spreading fast in Tamil Nadu. Vishvas news investigation revealed the claim is fake.
A post on social media claims that the Health Ministry had issued a strict alert on a new type of coronavirus infection Clade A13-I is spreading in India. The post further claims that the new type is spreading from Maharashtra, where 41 per cent of the infected had died. An access to the archived post is provided here.
On investigation, we found that the Health Ministry had not issued any warning about the new type of coronavirus infection Clade A13-I spreading in India.
We first searched on the Internet to find if the mutated coronavirus type Clade A13-I exists. However, Internet has no mention except in a couple of Facebook claims and few media organisations in Tamil Nadu reporting the claim.
When Vishvas news connected to Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Cabinet Minister, Health and Family Welfare, he directed us to Dr Rajni Kant, Scientist ‘G’ & Director, Research Management, Policy, Planning and Coordination (RMPPC) at Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi.
Dr Rajni Kant’s reply to us on email states, “ICMR has not issued any such warning. All ICMR advisories/guidelines are uploaded on ICMR website”.
When we inquired about the Clade A13-I coronavirus strain, he confirmed that he had not heard anything about it so far.
Secretary General of Indian Medical Association, DR. R.V. Asokan replied, “Not a factual one,” when we contacted him on the phone for his opinion on the claim.
When we further tried to track down the new type Clade A13-I, we found that scientists from Hyderabad had published a research on Clade A3I.
Scientists from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology (CCMB) had identified a distinct phylogenetic cluster (Clade I / A3i) of SARS-CoV-2 genomes from India.
A tweet from CCMB says, “Here is a fresh preprint on genome analysis of SARS-CoV2 spread in India. The results show that a distinct cluster of virus population, uncharacterized thus far, which is prevalent in India – called the Clade A3I”.
However, CCMB have also clarified that they have no data to validate the virulence compared to existing one.
“There is no data for us to yet conclusively say that the new virus population (Clade A3I) among Indians is any more or less dangerous than the other virus population (Clade A2a) present here,” CCMB tweeted
Conclusion: The post claiming the spread of a new type of coronavirus infection Clade A13-I in India is fake.
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