OPEN APP
Home >News >India >UK strain, double mutant variant could be behind current Covid surge in Delhi

The current wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the national capital could have been fuelled by the UK variant as its prevalence in genomes sequenced nearly doubled from the second to the last week of March, Sujeet Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said on Friday.

Data released by the NCDC says more than 400 cases of the UK strain and 76 of the Indian double mutant were found in Delhi.

As many as 1,644 cases of the UK strain have been found in India, 112 cases of the South African strain, one of the Brazilian strain and 732 cases of the double mutant that emerged in India.

Speaking at a webinar, 'Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-19', Singh said the UK variant of coronavirus is also dominant in Punjab.

UK variant & B.1.617 (double mutation)

In Delhi, there are primarily two types of variants -- B.1.617 and the UK strain -- found in the genome sequenced samples, the NCDC director said.

The B.1.617 variant of coronavirus is also known as the double mutant strain.

The UK variant was found in 28% of samples in the second week of March. In the last week of the month, 50% of samples had this variant, Singh added.

"If we try to co-relate, the surge we are observing in Delhi, it directly co-relates to the type of variant which we are observing," he said.

So far, Singh said, 15,133 samples have been sequenced by INSACOG, a consortium formed in December last year to increase viral genomic surveillance in order to understand the spread of the coronavirus in a rapid and robust manner.

This was also after the UK, South African and Brazilian strains, which have a higher rate of transmission, emerged.

The link between variants and the current surge in Covid-19 cases was established by genome sequencing of some 15,135 samples. Variants were detected in 1,735 cases - around 11.5%.

Covid variant cases in states

Singh said in Maharashtra, the B.1.617 variant was found in proportions of over 50% in many cities.

Nearly 64 cases of the UK strain were found in Maharashtra, six cases of the South African strain, one of the Brazilian strain and 427 cases of the Indian double mutant variant. Over 1,770 samples were sequenced for variants in Maharashtra.

In the Capital, 23 cases of the South African strain were also found. 3,208 samples were sequenced for variants in Delhi.

Punjab had 551 cases of the UK strain, two cases of the South African variant and one case of the double mutant.

In Telangana, 170 cases of the UK strain were found, 57 cases of South African strain and three cases of double mutant.

West Bengal had 40 cases of the UK strain, nine cases of the South African strain and 124 cases of the Indian double mutant.

Punjab recorded the highest proportion of strains -- 73.5% -- followed by UP (60%) and Telangana (41%).

The NCDC is one of the 10 laboratories involved in the genome sequencing of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, India added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country's tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The death toll increased to 1,86,920 with a record 2,263 new fatalities. The country recorded a single day rise of 3,32,730 new cases, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!

Close
×
Edit Profile
My ReadsRedeem a Gift CardLogout