A total of 45 cases of the Delta plus variant of coronavirus have been reported in Maharashtra during genome sequencing, the state health department said on Sunday, adding one patient had died.
At 13, the maximum number of these patients hailed from Jalgaon in north Maharashtra followed by Ratnagiri (11) in the coastal Konkan region.
"80 per cent of the samples sent for genome sequencing had tested positive for the Delta Plus variant (of coronavirus). The 45 patients are from Jalgaon (13), Ratnagiri (11), Mumbai (6), Thane (5), Pune (3), and one each from Palghar, Sindhudurg, Sangli. Nandurbar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, and Beed," the department said in a statement.
Of these 45 samples, information about 35 patients have been taken by the health department. One death was reported while the rest of the patients reported mild to medium type symptoms, it said.
The exact number of samples sent for genome sequencing and the period during which they were analysed is not mentioned.
Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pawar informed Lok Sabha in a written reply on Friday that analysis of the genomic data is a continuous and ongoing process. Periodic updates are shared with experts and states and are also regularly made available in the public domain through the media bulletin of INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium). States are regularly advised to send samples for genome sequencing and provide clinical data of positive persons to enable greater epidemiological insights to identify the link between the surge in cases at various places to the variants, the minister stated.
Elaborating on the steps being taken to check the spread of the Delta variant, Pawar had said to monitor the variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus, initially, genomic sequencing was conducted through the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
Subsequently, the Union government established the INSACOG in December 2020 as a consortium of 10 laboratories of the Ministry of Health, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The network of INSACOG laboratories has since been increased to 28, Pawar stated.
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