Coronavirus | Puducherry reports UK and South Africa variants of the virus

A health worker vaccinating a frontline worker at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute in Puducherry on Saturday. Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

The Union Territory too, has reported mutant variants of the novel coronavirus since the second wave of COVID-19 struck the country.

Tests conducted on throat swabs at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, revealed the presence of the UK and South African strains in the general population of the UT.

The Health Department had been monitoring people travelling from the UK from January this year. Around 150 people who arrived from the UK were tested but none of them tested positive, L. Ravivarman, Head, Integrated and Disease Surveillance Programme, told The Hindu. Subsequently, the National Centre for Disease Control directed the Department to submit samples of throat swabs with high viral loads for analysis of the genome at NIMHANS, he said. “So far 67 samples were sent to NIMHANS for genome sequencing. 27 results have come in so far, of which 10 of UK strain and 2 of the South African strain were reported. We are awaiting the results of 40 more. Obviously the spike in the cases reported in the UT during the second wave could be due to the two mutated variants of the virus. Our vaccines are effective and will give protection to the strains,” he added.

According to doctors, unlike last year, many youngsters and middle-aged people are being infected by COVID-19 in the UT. People who needed oxygen were also on the higher side, said a doctor.

Data available with the Health Department revealed that around 45% of the people diagnosed with novel coronavirus are between the age group of 20 and 40 years. 23.79 % of infected persons are in the age group of 21 to 30 years. 22. 90 % of the people with COVID-19 belong to the age category 31 to 40 years. In the categories, men accounted for more than 15 %, data revealed.

Statistics revealed that 13. 92 % of the infected are in the age group of 41 and 51 years. The least affected are in the age group above 71 years and up to 10 years, said an official.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 11:53:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/coronavirus-puducherry-reports-uk-and-south-africa-variants-of-the-virus/article34456806.ece

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