In order to contain the spread of the Delta Plus variant, the BMC has decided to conduct genome sequencing of Covid patients who are critical and undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the city.
The health officials have been asked to draw up a list of such patients. So far, 65 Delta Plus cases have been reported in the state, of which 12 are from the city. This is a matter of concern, considering the speed at which corronavirus is spreading.
Additional municipal commissioner, Suresh Kakani, said that a genome sequence machine has been installed at Kasturba Gandhi hospital. “Currently, we are collating data of patients who are very critical. So far, there are less than 10 per cent who fall in this category. Later, we will collect samples from patients who are moderately or mildly infected,” he said.
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 Moreover, on a trial basis, first 384 samples will be run and the results will come in 3 to 4 days. “So far, it takes over two to three months to get the test results, which delays the epidemiological study of the mutated virus. However, with this machine, we will be able to get the results in three to four days,” Kakani added.
The civic body will also be collecting samples from international passengers, hotspots, places with high transmission rate, among others.