UK Variant Could Be the Reason for COVID-19 Surge in Delhi: NCDC 

The B.1.617 variant of coronavirus is also known as the double mutant strain.

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COVID-19
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The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) director said on Friday, 23 April, that in Delhi, there are primarily two types of variants: B.1.617 and the UK strain, as found in the genome sequenced samples.

NCDC Director Sujeet Singh said that the UK variant’s prevalence in the genomes sequenced nearly doubled from the second to the last week of March, which could be the reason for the surge of COVID infections in the national capital.

Speaking at a webinar, 'Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-19', Singh said the UK variant is also dominant in Punjab. The B.1.617 variant of coronavirus is also known as the double mutant strain.

In the second week of March, the UK variant was found in 28 percent of samples. In the last week of the month, 50 percent of samples had this variant, Singh added.

He said, "If we try to co-relate, the surge we are observing in Delhi, it directly relates to the type of variant that we are observing," reported PTI.

15,133 samples have been sequenced so far by INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia), a consortium formed in December last year to increase viral genomic surveillance in order to understand the spread of the virus in a robust manner.

The consortium was formed after the UK, South African and Brazilian strains, which have a higher rate of transmission, emerged.

Singh added that in Maharashtra, the B.1.617 variant was found in proportions of over 50 percent in many cities.

The NCDC is one of the 10 laboratories involved in the genome sequencing of coronavirus.

(With inputs from PTI)

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