Jammu and Kashmir, June 12: Recent epidemiological studies suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.617.2, has been responsible for the raging second wave of COVID-19 infection in India, including the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr Shashi Sudhan, the Principle and Dean of Government Medical College (GMC) of Jammu said, "The sudden increase in the number of COVID related deaths in the UT, especially in Jammu, raised an alarm about the circulating variant of concern (B.1.617.2), which was proved right by the study".
The extremely transmissible B1.617.2 which was detected in the country in December last year, has been recently classifies as a Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organization (WHO). UK Considers Up to 4-Week Delay to End of Lockdown Due to Delta Variant of COVID-19 : Report.
Dr Sudhan said that the Covid-positive samples were routinely sent to the Indian SARS CoV-2 Consortium of Genomics (INSACOG) for genomic sequencing and for analysis of circulating Covid-19 viruses. "Several variants have been reported in Jammu," he said.
"There is available information to suggest that the increased transmissibility and increased deaths in the month of May were linked to the variant of concern", Dr Sudhan added.
68.5 per cent of the patients who tested positive were reported to have been infected by the B.1.617.2 variant, generally known as the double mutant, as per the recent data of Covid-positive samples sent from the Department of Microbiology, GMC Jammu to the National Centre for Disease Control of Delhi, for genetic sequencing.
It was further reported that the mortality rate among the patients admitted in the High-dependency unit (HDU) of GMC Jammu was 62.5 per cent in those infected with the "variant of concern". Covid-deaths of a very high number of young patients due to this variant are indicative of higher public health implications of the variant. COVID-19 Variant B.1.617.2 Drove Coronavirus Surge in India in April and May 2021: INSACOG.
"Among those patients admitted, 58.4 per cent were reported to have B.1.617.2, 'the variant of concern', while 22.47 per cent were reported to have B.1 mutation, 6.74 per cent were having B.1.1 mutant, 3.37 per cent had B.1.617.1 variant and 1.1 per cent had B.1.1.7 the UK variant, Dr Sudhan added. Further, he added that 2.247 per cent of the admitted patients were reported to have no mutant at all.
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