70 pc samples sent to NCDC by PGI had UK variant of Covid-19: Jagat Ram

High transmission rate of UK variant leaves no room for any compromise with Covid appropriate behaviour, says PGI director

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15

With Covid-19 cases surging at a rate much faster in the second wave than the first wave, it was being assumed that UK variant could be responsible for this faster rate. “The same has been amply proved by the latest findings of the PGIMER samples sent to National Centre for Diseases Control as 70 per cent of the samples had UK Variant of COVID 19 and 20 per cent of the samples had 681 H mutant of Covid 19,” stated Prof Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER here on Thursday.

The UK variant found in 70 per cent of the samples sent by PGIMER, Chandigarh is B.1.1.7. This variant is associated with increased transmissibility -- more efficient and rapid transmission.

The Director said, “The Department of Virology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, had sent 60 positive samples of Covid-19 to the National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), New Delhi in the month of March 2021. It was found that 70% of the samples had UK variants of Covid-19, one sample was found to have double mutation. 681H mutant of Covid-19 was observed in 20% of the samples. Majority of the samples were from Chandigarh.”

Sending a note of caution, Jagat Ram said, “Considering the high transmission and faster spread of COVID-19 by the UK variant, it is suggested that everyone should follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and frequent use of sanitiser/hand washing.” 

The director advised to avoid crowded places and non-essential travel. 

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