Saturday, 04 December 2021

80% New COVID-19 cases accounts to Delta variant: Govt Expert Chief

80% New COVID-19 cases accounts to Delta variant: Govt Expert Cheif

The variant is 40-60 percent more infectious than its predecessor, the Alpha variants, and earlier spread to 80 countries, includes the UK, Singapore, and United States.

Delta variant was mainly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, accounting for over 80 percent of new cases. Dr. N K Arora, the co-chair of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, said, underlining that the patients may go up if a new, more infectious variant comes.

The Delta Plus variant—AY.1 and AY.2-is detected in 55-60 cases over 11 states, including Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, and is studying for virulence, transmissibility, and vaccine escape feature, according to Union Health Ministry statement Dr. Arora said.

Delta variant has mutations in spike protein, which helps it bind to ACE2 receptors present on the surface of the cells more thoroughly, making it more infectious and capable of entering the body immunity, said Dr. Arora.

He said.

"The B.1.617.2, variant of COVID-19 known as Delta variant, was first recognize in in India in the month of Oct 2020 , and was responsible for second wave in country, today conisdering over 80 percent of new COVID-19 cases," 

It emerged in Maharashtra and traveled northwards and the country's western states while entering the central and eastern states of the country.

80 New COVID 19 cases accounts to Delta variant Govt Expert Cheif 1image by pixabay

Read More: No doses say states vaccination decline by 60%

Many cause more severe diseases than other variants. Dr. Arora said some studies show some more mutations in these variants encourage several developments.

He said.

"Apart from, invading a human cell, it reproduce faster. It leads to strong provoactive response in organs. Still it is difficult to say that infection due to delta variant is more serious. The age profile and deaths during second wave in India were similar to that seen during first waves," 

Dr. Arora said 

"Delta Plus variant AY.1 & AY.2 has so far been traced in 55 to 60 cases over 11 states, including Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, AY.1 is found in countries like Portugal ,Switzerland ,Nepal, Japan and Poland, but AY.2 is less extensive. The variant is still learning for its infectious, virulence, and vaccines escape features," 

Dr. Arora said current vaccines are productive against the recent Delta variant as per studies undertaken by ICMR on these matters.

In some parts of the country still witnessing a spurt in the number of cases, he said. However, there is a significant dip in cases in most parts of the country. Some regions are witnessing high-Test Positivity Rate (TPR), particularly in the north-eastern part. In several southern states, most of these cases could be due to the Delta variant.

On whether future covid waves could prevent, Dr. Arora said a virus begins infecting a part of the population, most susceptible and exposed to infection. It successfully infects many people and strikes back when the immunity developed in the people post-natural disease.

Dr. Arora said.

"The cases may go up if new, more contagious variant occur. especially, next wave will be driven by a virus variant to which significant proportion of population is susceptible," 

The second wave is still going on. Any future locks will be controlled and delayed if more and more people get vaccinated. Most significant, people follow COVID-Appropriate Behaviour effectively, especially till a substantial part of our population gets vaccinated, he stressed.

Dr. Arora added that people need to focus on vaccination and adherence to Covid's appropriate behavior to manage COVID-19.

There is a need to keep a severe watch on the emergence of variants of concern and outbreaks to be carried before they spread to a larger area.

INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium), recognized on December 20, was a group of 10 laboratories. Newly 18 more laboratories became part of it, Dr. Arora said.

INSACOG is a group of 28 laboratories for whole-genome sequencing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and set on Dec 26, 20.

He said that escaping immunity or causing breakthrough infections, affecting vaccine efficacy, and diagnosed by current diagnostic tests.

The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) examines the data. The entire country has split into geographical regions, and each laboratory has a specific responsibility.

He said.

"We have formed 180-190 assemble around four districts in each group. irregular swab samples and samples of patients who develop severe diseases, vaccine progress virus, are collected and sent to regional laboratories for succession. The current capacity of country is to sequence over 50,000 samples per month; earlier it was approximately 30,000 samples," 

The new mutations/variants of concern are cultured and scientific studies are undertaken to see the impact on infectiousness, virulence, vaccine efficacy, and immune escape properties.

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