At least three different COVID-19 strains have been detected among 75 patients from Mizoram whose samples were randomly selected and sent for whole genome sequencing, a health official said on Thursday.
Seventy-three cases of India’s highly transmissible Delta variant (B.1.617.2), and one case each of United Kingdom’s Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Eta (B.1.525) strains were found among 100 samples, State nodal officer and official spokesperson on COVID-19 , Dr. Pachuau Lalmalsawma, said.
The samples were sent for whole genome sequencing to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in West Bengal’s Kalyani in June, he said.
“The Mizoram government is making massive efforts to detect other variants in the State. People have to be very cautious and strictly follow the guidelines as different COVID-19 variants may be already present in other parts of the State,” he said.
Fifty-six of the 73 Delta variant cases were registered in Aizawl, nine in Lunglei, five in Kolasib and three in Serchhip, the official said, adding that both the Alpha and Eta variants were reported in Aizawl.
Seventy samples from Aizawl, and 10 each from Lunglei, Kolasib and Serchhip districts were collected and sent to NIBMG for genome sequencing last month.
The patients’ present conditions are yet to be ascertained, he said. On June 18, Mizoram had recorded four cases of Delta variants from among 217 samples sent for whole genome sequencing in April. However, all the four patients from Aizawl have fully recovered from the disease.
Pachuau said that 69 samples were sent to NIBMG in March, 217 in April and 100 in June. Also, 150 more samples were sent on July 15 and results are awaited, he said.
Quoting a study, Pachuau said that the Eta variant is more dangerous as 69% of the infected patients have been found to require treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The mortality rate among patients infected with Delta variant is 0.1%, 2% for Alpha variant and 2.7% for Eta strain, he said.