Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Amid the rising cases of coronavirus in the country, the government had already announced that along with ‘double mutant variant’ many other variants of concern (VOCs) have been detected in 18 states, including Madhya Pradesh.
The Virus of Concerns found in Madhya Pradesh in the study of genome sequencing by Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) were N501Y, E484Q, and L452R.
According to official sources, the N501Y variant was found in six samples of the state while E484Q was found in five samples and L452R was found in one sample.
“Fortunately, no ‘double mutation variant’ was found in the state and it’s more prevalent in Maharashtra which was already announced by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. State had sent samples for genome sequencing mainly from Indore and Bhopal and 11 samples were found positive for UK strain (B.1.1.7),” sources said.
The government had already announced that about six persons had tested positive for the UK variant in Indore and surprisingly, they didn’t have any international travel history.
As many as 771 variants of concerns (VOCs) have been detected in a total of 10787 positive samples shared by States/UTs. These include 736 samples positive for viruses of the UK (B.1.1.7) lineage. 34 samples were found positive for viruses of the South African (B.1.351) lineage. 1 sample was found positive for viruses of the Brazilian (P.1) lineage. The samples with these VOCs have been identified in 18 States of the country.
The ministry had mentioned that E484Q and L452R mutations confer immune escape and increased infectivity. These have been categorized as VOCs but require the same epidemiological and public health response of “increased testing, comprehensive tracking of close contacts, prompt isolation of positive cases & contacts as well as treatment as per National Treatment Protocol” by the States/UTs.
“The ministry has mentioned that the samples are not sufficient to establish direct relation between the new variants and increasing number of cases but the sudden rise in cases in state, mainly in Indore and Bhopal, pointing the same. It is also one of the reasons that the government has decreased the number of Rapid Antigen Tests and relying more on RT-PCR as these variants may ‘escape’ the antigen test,” sources said.
Experts also believe that the change in symptoms of positive patients, unlike the symptoms people got a few months ago, is also due to the new variant of the virus.