In a disturbing development, a sample sent from Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) for genetic sequencing has been found to have the lesser-known N440K mutation by the India SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG).
This is the first such case of the Covid-19 mutant variant being confirmed in the Kashmir region.
Senior officials of the IIOJK government said that samples are being regularly sent to the INSACOG to track the trends of the mutating virus. “We have received the reports of close to 118 samples that had been sent for sequencing. One of these has been found to have the mutation,” said a government official.
The variant N440K is a lesser-known mutant strain of Covid-19. The same mutation has been found in some samples from Jammu division. It has also been commonly found in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana. N440K was first reported from parts of India in February.