Bhubaneswar: At a time when the Delta Plus variant of the Covid-19 virus has triggered fear and panic after the Centre tagged it as ‘Varinat of Concern’, the statement of a senior scientist and head of Odisha-based Institute of Life Science (ILS) has brought a sigh of relief.
ILS director Ajay Parida, while addressing a presser, said on Saturday that the new variant which has been detected in Odisha too, has not broken out in the State as predicted.
“Only one mutation (Delta Plus) has been found from around 3000 samples collected from four States-Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. If it was highly contagious, then we must have found number of variants of the same strain since April to till date,” he said.
Parida further claimed “As we have not received a single case in the last two months from genome sequencing of over 3000 samples, it indicates that the new strain has not spread fast as predicted. But, it’s too early to say its impact in the future. As per our latest study, we should not unnecessarily worry or get panicked about the new strain. But, we have to remain cautious,” he said.
The genemo sequencing of 46,000 sample have been conducted at 10 ILSs across the country. Parida said the ILS Odisha has conducted the sequencing of around 1100 samples collected from all the districts in Odisha..
Almost 80 per cent cases during the second wave in the country belong to Delta variant. Another mutation of the Delta Variant is now called 'Delta Plus' which can only be ascertained through genome sequencing, he said.
Around 49 ‘Delta Plus’ mutants have been detected from the samples collected for surveillance. Out of this, one had been detected in Odisha, he said.
The patient hailing from Deogarh had tested positive in April and his sample came to the ILS Laboratory in first week of May.
“We carried out the genome sequencing in the second week of May and detected it. He had already recovered and had not infected others,” Parida maintained.
Since then, sequencing of around 600-700 samples had been conducted. Not a single case of the new variant has been detected yet, he claimed.
Speaking about the efficacy of vaccines, Parida confirmed that vaccines have a positive outcome.
“We have found from our own testing centre that 10-12 vaccinated people got re-infected out of whom only one needed hospitalisation. Around seven-eight persons were asymptomatic. So, it is clear that vaccines reduce the possibility of severity,” he clarified.