Tamil Nadu

80% samples test positive for Delta variant in T.N.

J. Radhakrishnan  

The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 was found in 80% of COVID-19 samples sent from Tamil Nadu for whole genome sequencing, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said.

“We sent a total of 3,417 samples for genomic sequencing from December until now. Of this, we have received the results for 2,693 samples. Eighty percent of these samples — 2,150 — had the Delta variant of COVID-19,” he told reporters.

“We earlier had 10 samples returning positive for the Delta Plus variant. Now, the World Health Organization has said we need not differentiate between Delta and Delta Plus. Another two samples have tested positive for Delta Plus now,” he said.

In fact, all 468 samples sent and sequenced recently were found to be of the Delta variant. He added that the Health Department was referring samples from border areas and clusters for genomic analysis to monitor the novel coronavirus variants.

A genomic sequencing laboratory to identify variants will start functioning at the State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL) soon, he said.

“The equipment arrived two days ago. Till now, we are sending samples for genomic sequencing to Bengaluru and Hyderabad. In three days, the laboratory at SPHL will start running on a trial basis. We are expecting the trial run to go on for a week, after which it will be launched formally,” he said.

He said the number of cases and the positivity rate in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh were being closely watched, and border areas were being monitored.

“Four districts continue to record above 100 cases a day. They are Chennai, Coimbatore, Erode and Chengalpattu. At the same time, cases reported in the Thanjavur and Cauvery delta districts are slightly high, compared with their population. This is also being continuously monitored,” he said.

‘All doses used’

Mr. Radhakrishnan earlier stated that government vaccination centres had so far administered 2.86 crore doses of free vaccines, while private centres had administered nearly 20 lakh doses. This took the overall coverage to 3,06,74,681 doses.

All doses supplied for the State government had been fully administered.

Initial hesitancy

“There was initial vaccine hesitancy for four to five months. Till April, supply of vaccines from the Union government was based on consumption and wastage. We have been seeking population-based supply. Of late, the supply is based on the population but we need for what we had lost in the earlier months. Utilisation is 100% and we need bulk supply. We are pressing the Union government to give at least one crore vaccines, over and above what we get now, and they have said that it will be considered,” he said.

The State was leading in the vaccination of pregnant women (3.61 lakh), lactating women (2.63 lakh) and differently abled (1.53 lakh), he noted.

Inspection of the 11 new government medical colleges had been completed, he said, adding that the final decision of the National Medical Commission was being awaited.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 2:27:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/80-samples-test-positive-for-delta-variant-in-tn/article36159557.ece

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