The Hindu | 22/12/2020 07:53 PM | Click to read full article
According to current estimates, the circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages accumulate mutations at a rate of about just one-two mutations per month despite it being an RNA virus. The new variant has 23 mutations in all, which is unusually huge.
The emergence of a large number of mutations in the variant could possibly have taken place in an immunodeficient or immunosuppressed patient who had a prolonged infection. High rates of mutations accumulating in a short time have been reported previously in such people.