Out of the total samples sent for genome sequencing of COVID-19 positive patients in Maharashtra, 80 per cent of samples have tested positive for Delta variant, according to the state health department.
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 17 : Maharashtra is conducting genome sequencing tests of COVID-19 positive patients’ samples on a regular basis to ascertain the extent of spread of mutants of the virus. According to a state health department, as many as 76 patients have been found to be positive with Delta Plus variant, out of which five have died so far and 71 have recovered. As of now, no patient infected with Delta Plus variant is under treatment.
To intensify its efforts to identify virus mutants, Maharashtra Health Department has selected five laboratories and five hospitals as sentinel centres. Every fortnight, each centre sends 15 samples to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for genome sequencing.
Moreover, an agreement has been signed with a laboratory named Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, which works under Council of Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR). This laboratory tests 100 samples of each district of Maharashtra to find if there is any mutant virus is present in any of the samples.
On Monday, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology found 10 more people positive with Delta Plus variant. From these, six are from Kolhapur, three from Ratnagiri and one is from Sindhudurg district.
So far, 13 Delta Plus cases have been registered in Jalgaon, 15 in Ratnagiri, 11 in Mumbai, seven in Kolhapur, six each in Pune and Thane, three each in Palghar and Raigad, two each in Gondia, Sindhudurg and Nanded and one each in Chandrapur, Akola, Sangli, Nandurbar, Aurangabad and Beed.
The state government has formed rapid response teams to detect Delta Plus patients. They check patients’ travel history and vaccination details. They also survey for flu-like symptoms in people.
In people aged between 19-45 years, 39 Delta Plus cases have been recorded, 19 have been reported in 46-60 age group, nine patients are below the age of 18 years and nine persons are above the age of 60 years.
Out of the 76 Delta Plus cases, 39 were female and 37 were male. Meanwhile, the state health department also said out of the total 76, 10 were vaccinated with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, 12 had taken only the first dose, thus, 22 people were vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine. Out of these 22, two people were vaccinated with Covaxin and the rest 20 with Covishield.
Symptoms of 37 Delta Plus infected patients were having very mild to no symptoms at all.
As per the health bulletin, one death each was recorded in Mumbai, Beed and Raigad while two were reported from Ratnagiri due to the Delta Plus variant. All patients who succumbed due to the mutated virus were above the age of 65 years and had serious co-morbidities. Two out of the five had taken both doses of Covishield while three were not vaccinated at all against COVID-19.
Maharashtra government in an official statement said the virus keeps changing its genetic structure naturally, so no need to panic about it but everyone must adhere to all the COIVD related protocols.