Odisha: Genome Sequencing Shows No New Variant of Delta Virus

Research by the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Odisha claims that not a single new strain of Delta variant of the Coronavirus has been detected in the State in the last two months. The finding has come after 1,200 samples were put under genome sequencing.

The ILS reported that the 1,200 samples were sequenced in September and October, and none had the new strain that has been found in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh (MP). The State health authorities were alerted after Delta’s new variant AY-4.2 was detected from MP and Karnataka. Presently, strains of the old Delta AY-4 and AY-12 variants are present in Odisha.

“Samples sequenced in September and October in our laboratory so far haven’t detected the new AY-4.2 variant of delta virus. In the case of Karnataka and MP, we learnt that the samples of August had detected the AY-4.2 variant, a new strain of Delta. Had it been that infectious, it would have created havoc in both states. So, considering infectivity gauges so far, the new strain may be called a variant of interest rather than a variant of concern in India”, said Ajay Parida, Director, ILS.

On August 21, Odisha became the tenth state to cross 10 lakh cumulative Covid infections. In the last two and half months, the State has reported over 42,000 cases.

“The AY 4.2 variant has not presented itself in Odisha so far is evident from the fact that Odisha’s daily caseload remains in a certain range with marginal oscillation. It is positive news for the people of the state. But we can’t be complacent as we don’t know when the virus changes its form”, said Dr Jayant Panda, technical advisor to the government on Covid.

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