Covid-19: Delta variant still predominant in Maharashtra, Delta-plus cases rise to 45 | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Delta, the highly contagious coronavirus variant driving the pandemic globally, continues to be predominant in Maharashtra and has been detected in over 80% of genome sequenced samples till recently.
Its mutated form Delta-plus has been found in just 45 samples (0.5%) of the 8,000-odd sequenced, indicating that it is not as transmissible as initially feared.
The state’s public health department on Sunday issued a release stating that Delta-plus cases have increased to just 45 from the initial 21 detected in June. Jalgaon has the most cases (13), followed by Ratnagiri (11), Mumbai (6), Thane (5) and Pune (3). One case each has been found in Palghar, Sindhudurg, Sangli, Nandurbar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Beed. About 10 of these cases are recent infections, although most have mild to moderate symptoms. Delta-plus or ‘AY.1’ variant carries all mutations present in Delta plus an additional one ‘K417N’.
Mumbai’s count of Delta-pl-us cases has increased to six from two in June. On Saturday, BMC was informed of the case of a 21-year-old nursing student from the western suburbs. “We are gathering details about the case. It appears the person had tested Covid-19 positive a month ago,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC’s executive health officer. While the state said Mumbai has six Delta-plus cases, BMC officials said they had information only for four. “None of these cases are recent. They have all recovered,” she added.
State officials said although the majority of the cases are at least two weeks old, a full contact tracing and surveillance exercise would be carried out in districts. Local authorities have gathered information on about 35 of the 45 patients. “Our analysis shows that all patients had mild to moderate symptoms. There has been only one death. Importantly, in districts where Delta-plus cases have been fou-nd, there is no increase in transmission,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state’s surveillance officer.
“Delta is still the dominant variant. In districts, up to 87% of samples have been found positive for Delta,” Dr Awate added. The one reported death from Delta-plus cohort was of an 80-year-old woman who had several comorbidities. The state also carried out an age-wise analysis and found that 20 of the 45 cases were in the 19-45 age group, also the most mobile. Fourteeen cases were in the 46-60 age group, five among senior citizens and six children up to 18 years of age.
The state carries out genome sequencing through two methods—one is through 10 sentinel surveillance sites: five hospitals and five labs. Fifteen samples from these sites are sent to Pune’s NIV every fortnight. The state has also signed an MoU with Delhi’s Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology to sequence 3,500 samples every month; 100 from each district. Since May, Dr Awate said nearly 8,000 samples have been sequenced. “Cases of breakthrough infections or reinfections are also sent,” he said. Mumbai recently got its own genome sequencing lab in Kasturba Hospital.


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