Andhra Pradesh

New coronavirus variant detected in State, says expert

Strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination hold the key at this crucial juncture, says Visakhapatnam Special COVID Officer P.V. Sudhakar.  

The scientists have discovered a new variant of coronavirus and it has already been detected in a few States, including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The variant is one of the 13 sub-types of Delta Plus or B.1.617.2 and is identified as AY 12.

Across India about 178 cases have been detected, including the very first one that was detected in Pauri Garhwal district in Uttarakhand reportedly on August 31, said Principal of Andhra Medical College and District COVID Special Officer P.V. Sudhakar.

According to the latest reports, about 18 cases have been detected in Andhra Pradesh and around 15 in Telangana.

Speaking about the variant, Dr. Sudhakar said it has one less mutation than the Delta variant. The spike protein has G142D mutation in the Delta and that is absent in AY12.

However, he added that there is insufficient data available as of now and that is why it is too early to tell whether this variant has increased transmissibility or virulence. But it may be the driving force for the predicted third wave, Dr. Sudhakar said.

It may be remembered that the Delta variant created a havoc during the second wave in India that affected the populace from March to June, including in Visakhapatnam.

The second wave saw over 50,000 infections in the Visakhapatnam district within a short span of two to three months and over 500 officially accounted deaths.

The medical fraternity believe that the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has been partially due to non-compliance of appropriate behaviour.

“But now it is time that we become doubly careful. The second wave is still on and the positivity rate continues to be around 2% to 3% and now we have a new variant of the same Delta Plus group. Strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination hold the key at this crucial juncture. If we let our guard down at this point, then the third wave can be on us in no time,” said Dr. Sudhakar.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 4:52:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/new-coronavirus-variant-detected-in-state-says-expert/article36329171.ece

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