Delhi Variant Cases in Delhi: 80% of July samples had Delta variant in Delhi | Delhi News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, which led to a massive number of viral infections during the second Covid-19 wave, remains the dominant strain in circulation in the national capital.
It has been detected in at least 80% of the samples sent for genome sequencing by Delhi government in the last three months.
In July, data shared by the health department at a meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) showed that the Delta variant was detected in 83.3% of the samples sent for genome sequencing.
In May and June, the variant was found in 81.7% and 88.6% of the samples, respectively. In April, it was found in 53.9% of the samples.
The other “variant of concern” detected in samples sent by Delhi government to National Centre for Disease Control for genome sequencing was Alpha.
“The second wave of the pandemic hasn’t ended yet. The dominance of the Delta variant among the samples is proof of this. This variant is still in circulation. We are seeing fewer cases in Delhi because many people have been exposed to it already,” said Dr Arun Gupta, president of Delhi Medical Council, adding that the dominance of the Delta variant was a major reason behind daily cases being high across the country.
The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is a sub-lineage of the Kappa variant (B.1.617), which was first detected in Maharashtra in October 2020.
It has now spread to several parts of the world. Scientists said Delta was not just highly transmissible compared to other variants, but it also had a higher viral load as well as vaccination breakthrough rate.
In a study published recently, top scientists from NCDC, CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and Academy for Scientific and Innovative Research noted, “…prior infections, high seropositivity and partial vaccination are insufficient impediments to its spread.” The study concluded, “Strong public health measures will be needed globally for its containment.”
Dr Gupta, who is also a DDMA member, said wearing a mask, social distancing and maintaining hand hygiene were a must to prevent disease spread. Also, vaccination rates had to go up. “A third wave of the pandemic may or may not come. It will depend on further mutation in the novel coronavirus and its transmissibility,” he added.
Mutations or viral evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has been seen mostly in immune-compromised patients, like those suffering from cancer, TB and HIV, with persistent infection.
In an article published in New England Journal of Medicine, top US scientists argued that heightened precautions should be taken to avert the transmission of Covid-19 to immune-compromised patients in hospital settings to reduce this risk.
“Such patients should be prioritised for immunisation not only to protect them from SARS-CoV-2, but also to mitigate persistent infections,” they added.


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