Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: All four strains of coronavirus identified in India are prevalent in Odisha, informed Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar Director Ajay Parida on Tuesday.

“There are four groups of the virus in India and all the groups are present in Odisha. Research and analysis are underway to see if there is any change in the genetic level of the virus,” Parida said.

“Now we are analysing the particular genes which have virulence in order to find out to what extent it became divergent. The results of the finding are expected to come within two to three days and we will make a formal announcement," Parida said.

The ILS director further said that the strains of virus in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are different from other three types of strains.

Speaking about the rapid antigen test, Parida said Ganjam and Cuttack have been kept in the focus area. As per strategy, those who will test positive in antigen test will be declared confirmed cases. If those testing negative in antigen test but having symptoms, their samples will be sent for RT-PCR test.

“It will help us to ramp up the testing and detect the spread of the virus and accordingly contract tracing can be carried out," he said.

Asked about deaths of Covid-19 patients, the ILS director said the death rate in Odisha is not that high in comparison to other states.

“As the number of testing has been increased, more positive cases are coming to fore. However, majority of the cases are from quarantine centres and local contacts are very low,” he said.

Speaking about rising cases of Covid-19 cases in hospitals, he said the frontline workers should to be more careful to keep the virus at bay.

On reports of air transmission of SARS-nCoV, the ILS director said, “Coronavirus particles are relatively big in size and fall on the surface area. However, a new study yesterday claimed that the small particles of the virus can be air borne. It is a research finding and the researchers have requested WHO to change guidelines as per the new finding. However, WHO has not taken any decision in this regard so far.”

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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