Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 21
PGI director Jagat Ram on Monday said that during the second wave delta (B.1.617.2) and alpha (B.1.1.7) variants were found present among 61 per cent and 30 per cent of the samples, respectively, which were sent for whole genome sequencing to NCDC, New Delhi.
Majority of these samples (92 per cent) belonged to Chandigarh residents. Thus, during the second wave in the UT, delta strain was the main circulating strain, he said.
Giving details, he said, “The Department of Virology has been carrying out Covid testing by RTPCR since March 2020 and till date more than 2.5 lakh samples have been tested. To study whether there is a change in the circulating strain in Chandigarh during the second wave, 25 stored positive samples of the period May 5 to May 24 were sent for whole genome sequencing to NCDC.”
“Majority of these (92 per cent) belonged to residents of Chandigarh. During the second wave, delta variant (B.1.617.2) and alpha variant (B.1.1.7) were found present among 61 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. In two samples, sequencing could not be performed due to low content of genomic material, inferring that during the second wave in the UT delta strain was the main circulating strain,” Jagat Ram said.
Dean (Academics) GD Puri said the samples sent were of the patients admitted to the Nehru Hospital Extension Block where severe and critical Covid cases were admitted; and all samples belonged to the delta strain.
Eighty per cent of the patients who had died of Covid had the alpha strain. Fortunately, no case of delta-plus variant was reported in the samples sent, Puri said.
Jagat Ram advised the public to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour and to opt for vaccination in increased numbers in order to break the transmission chain completely and to halt the impending threat of third wave keeping in view the emerging and fast spreading delta and delta-plus variants.
He said the positive cases in Chandigarh had come down but there was no room for complacency.
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