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COVID: UK variant B1.1.7 dominates North India, double mutant Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka

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New Delhi, May 6: The UK strain of coronavirus is currently dominating parts of north India while double mutant could be found mostly in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat, Sujeet Singh, Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has said.
He, however, added that the B1.1.7 lineage of SARS CoV-2 (UK variant) is declining in proportion across the country in the last month and a half.

COVID: UK variant B1.1.7 dominates North India, double mutant Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka

Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday, Singh said the UK strain is dominating parts of north India including Punjab (482 samples) and Delhi (516), followed by Telangana (192), Maharashtra (83) and Karnataka (82).

He said 10 top government laboratories and institutions have been sequencing the genomes of coronavirus since December. A total of 18,053 samples have been sequenced so far, he added.

Singh said the information on genome sequencing has been shared with the states twice in February, four times in March and again four times in April.

He said in the video-conferencing with states, the Health Ministry also informed about the current status of variants of concern and new mutants and stressed on increased and stringent public health interventions.

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    The double mutant variant, also known as B.1.617, is mostly dominating Maharashtra (761), West Bengal (124), Delhi (107) and Gujarat (102), Singh said.

    The South African variant, also known as B.1.315, was predominantly found in Telangana and Delhi.

    Brazilian variant (P1) was only found in Maharashtra in a negligible proportion, he said.

    Singh said there is a frequent written communication on the variants by the Health Ministry and the NCDC to all states and UTs.

    He said states/UTs are advised to keep strict surveillance in the districts reporting new variants of concern where they can take up stringent public health measures including contact tracing, genome sequencing of positive samples of persons having history of international travel.

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