Tripura officials have said that atleast ninety cases of the highly transmissible Delta plus variant of the coronavirus have been detected in the state through the genome sequencing of samples. This is the first reported case of the deadly and highly infectious variant of COVID-19 in the northeast.
At least 151 samples were sent to a government laboratory in West Bengal. Out of these, 90 returned positive for the Delta plus variant, officials said.
"Few samples have also tested positive of Delta and Alpha variant," the health officials said.
Tripura's COVID-19 tally currently stands at 56,169. At least 574 have died due to the virus in the state so far. The state currently has 5,152 active cases. The daily positivity rate in the state is at worrying five per cent.
Between 50-60 per cent of the Covid patients in the second wave in the state are infected by the double mutant variant of coronavirus or Delta variant, according to health experts.
"Like some other states, the infection of Delta strain in Tripura is high -- around 50 to 60 per cent. The double mutant variant is infecting young people, even children as well. It is a matter of concern", Dr Tapan Majumder, head of the Microbiology department of Agartala Government Medical College (AGMC), was quoted as saying.
The emergence of Delta plus strain in Tripura - which is one of the few small states with good vaccination coverage - has alarmed officials.
In order to break the high transmission rate, Tripura has reimposed its 24 hours weekend curfew from 12 pm today to 6 am Monday. The state has already imposed a curfew in urban areas including the capital Agartala where the positivity was the highest at around 10 percent.
Eighty percent of new infections in India are reported from 90 districts of which 14 are in the northeastern states, according to the Health Ministry.
With inputs from PTI