Viruses are programmed to change and mutate. Coronavirus also mutates and hence we have a wide range of variants from Alpha, Beta, Gamma to the most deadly, Delta.
According to the WHO, a virus replicates or makes copies of itself. These changes and alterations, by definition, are called “mutations”. A virus with one or more new mutations is referred to as a “variant” of the original virus.
When it comes to coronavirus, the Delta variant, also known as the B.1.617.2, is considered to be the most dominant strain till date.
COVID-19 mutations can have a difference in genomic sequencing, which may allow them to surpass, or attach themselves to the healthy cells more profoundly. The Delta variant, first identified in the state of Maharashtra last October, is considered to be a cross between E484Q and L452R mutations, making it all the more infectious and transmissible as compared to the original strain.