Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, July 22
The Delta Covid variant of concern (VoC) has been spreading fast and continues to be the most dominant VoC in Punjab as the UK’s Alpha variant has touched a record low after dominating the state till March, the government has confirmed.
Over 90 per cent of the total Covid samples processed for whole genome sequencing (WGS) in June have tested positive for the Indian VoC (B.1.617), which has been christened Delta, the official figures have revealed.
However, no fresh case of highly contagious and dreaded new Covid variant Delta Plus (B.1.617.2), which is a mutated form of Delta and is gradually spreading fast to several other countries, claiming many lives, after being first found in India, has been reported in the state. Till now, only two Delta Plus cases, one each in Ludhiana and Patiala districts, were recorded last month.
The data analysed by the Health and Family Welfare Department, which is available with The Tribune, showed that a total of 2,648 Covid samples were sent for WGS from January to July, of which 2,160 have been processed so far, accounting for 81.6 per cent. Of the total processed samples, 1,958 have tested positive for VoCs, which accounted for 90.6 per cent.
The month-wise break-up of the VoCs suggested that 101 samples were processed in June, of which 93, which accounted for 92.1 per cent, tested positive for VoCs. Of these, 84 samples, accounting for 90.3 per cent, have tested positive for Delta, followed by four for B.1 (4.3 per cent), two for A (2.1 per cent) and only one sample each tested positive for Alpha, B.1.1., and B.1.575 (1.1 per cent each).
In May, 591 of the total 623 samples, which accounted for 94.9 per cent, tested positive for VoCs. Of these, 521 cases, accounting for 88.2 per cent, were of Delta, followed by 41 cases for Beta (6.9 per cent), 23 cases of Alpha (3.9 per cent), two cases of AY.1 variant (0.3 per cent) and 1 case each of B.1.1.161, B.1.530, B.1.575 and B.1.216 (0.2 per cent each).
In April, 439 of 469 WGS samples had tested positive for VoCs, which accounted for 93.6 per cent. Of these, 207 cases, accounting for 47.1 per cent, tested positive for Delta, 175 cases (40 per cent) for Alpha, 49 cases (11.2 per cent) for B.1, two cases (0.5 per cent) for other mutations and one case each (0.2 per cent) for B.1.1.135 and B.1.1.
In March, 717 of 748, which accounted for 95.9 per cent, samples tested positive for VoCs. Of these, 680 cases, accounting for 94.8 per cent, had tested positive for Alpha, four cases (0.5 per cent) for Delta, two cases (0.3 per cent) for Beta, one case each (0.1 per cent) for B.1, B.1.36, and B.1.525 and 27 cases (3.8 per cent) were of other mutations.
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