Aizawl, July 22: At least three different variants of COVID-19 have been newly detected among 75 coronavirus cases in Mizoram, a health department official said.
State nodal officer and official spokesperson on COVID-19 Dr. Pachuau Lalmalsawma said that 73 cases of highly transmissible Delta variant (B.1.617.2), and one each case of United Kingdom’s Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Eta (B.1.525) variants were found from 100 samples through whole-genome sequencing.
The samples were sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani in West Bengal in June this year, he said.
“Of the 100 samples, 73 were found to be Delta variant of COVID-19, one Alpha variant, and another Eta variant of COVID-19,” he said.
Of the 73 cases of Delta variant, 56 were reported from Aizawl district, nine from Lunglei district, five from Kolasib district, and three from Serchhip district, he said.
Both Alpha and Eta variants were reported from the Aizawl district, he said. He said that 70 samples from the Aizawl district and 10 each from Lunglei, Kolasib, and Serchhip districts were collected and sent to NIBMG for genome sequencing last month.
Earlier on June 18, Mizoram had reported four cases of Delta variants from 217 samples sent in April.
However, all four patients from the Aizawl district have been fully recovered from the infections. According to Pachuau, at least 69 samples were sent for whole-genome sequencing to NIBMG in March, 217 samples in April, and 100 in June.
Besides, 150 more samples were sent on July 15 and the results are awaited. He said the government is making massive efforts to find out the presence of any other variant of COVID-19 in the state.
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He also urged people to be cautious and strictly follow the advice of experts as different COVID-19 variants could already be present in other parts of the state.
Quoting a study, Pachuau said the Eta variant is more dangerous than other variants as 69 percent of the infected patients usually require treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).