PGIMER names Delta variant as main circulating strain in Chandigarh during second wave

PGIMER names Delta variant as main circulating strain in Chandigarh during second wave

Coronavirus Chandigarh: During the second wave of coronavirus, the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) were found to be present among 61 percent and 30 percent of the samples, respectively, which were sent for whole-genome sequencing to NCDC, New Delhi, the PGIMER Chandigarh stated on Monday.

The majority of these samples (92 percent) belonged to residents of Chandigarh. Thus, during the second wave of coronavirus in Chandigarh, Delta strain was the main circulating strain’, informed Prof. Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER Chandigarh.

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The Director PGIMER stated, “Department of Virology, PGIMER has been carrying out the COVID-19 testing by RT-PCR since March 2020 and till date, more than 2.5 lakhs samples have been tested.”

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“To study whether there was any change in the circulating strain in UT Chandigarh during the second wave, 25 stored positive samples of the period 05.05.2021 to 24.05.2021 were sent for whole-genome sequencing to NCDC, New Delhi,” he added.

Prof. GD Puri, Dean (Academics) PGIMER further confirmed that in the samples sent from admitted patients in Nehru Hospital Extension Block and all the samples belonged to Delta strain.

It is noteworthy that 80 percent of the patients in Chandigarh who had died of Covid-19 harbored the alpha strain. Fortunately, no case of Delta plus variant was reported in the samples sent, added Prof. Puri.

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With this backdrop, Prof. Jagat Ram has advised the public to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour and also to opt for vaccination in increased numbers so as to break the transmission chain completely and to halt the impending threat of third wave keeping in view the emerging and fast spreading delta and delta plus variant.

A major sign of relief is the cooling down of the second wave and the total toll of positive patients is low in UT Chandigarh but still, there is no room for complacency”, he added.

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