304 samples positive for Delta variant of Covid virus in genome sequencing in Mumbai
In the second cycle of genome sequencing done at Kasturba Hospital, 304 samples, of the total 376 samples that were collected, tested positive for the Delta subtype of Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. None of the samples tested positive for the Delta Plus variant, which is considered more communicable. Results of the second cycle were declared by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday.
The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first detected in India in late 2020 and is largely the more dominant variant. Delta Plus (AY.1) is a mutation of the highly transmissible Delta variant and was detected in the state during the second wave. In June, the Union health ministry declared it as the variant of concern.
According to the results of this second cycle, two samples were tested for the 19A subtype, and four samples were of the 20A subtype. The remaining 66 samples were tested for the common Covid virus.
Similarly, in the first cycle of genome sequencing, results of which were declared in August, none of the 188 samples had tested positive for the Delta Plus variant. However, 128 samples out of the 188 had the Delta variant.
Giving details of the first cycle on Thursday, BMC said, out of the 128 samples, 93 patients were from Mumbai. Of these 93 patients, around 58% or 54 patients needed hospitalisation, while 42% or 40 patients showed no symptoms at all. Also out of the same 93 patients, 27 patients had taken both vaccine doses, and 20 patients had taken their first dose. Only four patients out of those who had been fully vaccinated needed oxygen support.
Genome sequencing is an exercise to study the changes in the structure of the virus over time. A combination of changes in the ribonucleic acid of the virus can give birth to a new variant. Kasturba Hospital has a genome sequencing laboratory, that was inaugurated at the hands of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on August 4 this year, making it the first civic-run hospital to conduct the tests in the state.