Delta Variant, 50% More Infectious, Behind India’s 2nd Wave: Study

The coronavirus variant which was first found in India is behind the deadly second wave in the country, study says.

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The coronavirus variant which was first found in India is behind the deadly second wave in the country, a new study has found.

The Delta variant – or the B.1.617.2 strain – were primarily responsible for the surge in cases with high transmissibility of 50 percent more than Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), as per study by INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing Consortia) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

As per the ongoing study, there are more than 12,200 Variants of Concern in India but their presence is minuscule as compared to the Delta variant.

The World Health Organization (WHO), on 31 May, announced new labels for COVID variants of concern and interest, using letters of the Greek alphabet.

Accordingly, the B.1.617.2 COVID variant, first found in India, will be referred to as 'Delta' while another variant found in the country (B.1.617.1) will be known as 'Kappa', the WHO declared.


On 12 May, the WHO reported that the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant has been detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to an open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions”.

The WHO further found that “resurgence and acceleration of COVID-19 transmission in India had several potential contributing factors, including an increase in the proportion of cases of SARS-CoV-2 variants with potentially increased transmissibility”.

“Several religious and political mass gathering events that increased social mixing; and, underuse of and reduced adherence to public health and social measures,” were also pointed out by the WHO.

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