Delta Variant Used to be Primary Circulating Pressure Throughout 2d Covid Wave in Chandigarh: PGIMER

The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 was the main circulating strain in Chandigarh during the recent second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) said on Monday. The director of the city-based premier medical institute, Jagat Ram, also advised people to adhere to Covid appropriate behaviour and opt for vaccination to break the infection’s chain of transmission, and halt the impending threat of a third wave.

“To study whether there was any change in the circulating strain in the Union Territory of Chandigarh during the second wave, 25 stored positive samples of the period — 05.05.2021 to 24.05.2021 — were sent for whole genome sequencing to the NCDC (National Centre for Disease Control) in New Delhi,” he said Ninety-two per cent of these samples belonged to residents of Chandigarh, Ram said, according to a statement issued by the PGIMER. “During the second wave, the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) were found to be present among 61 per cent and 30 per cent of the samples respectively which were sent for whole genome sequencing to the NCDC,” Ram said.

The director said that for two samples, sequencing could not be performed due to low content of genomic material. The department of virology at the institute has been carrying out Covid testing through RT-PCR since March 2020 and till date, more than 2.5 lakh samples have been tested, Ram said.

Dean for academic, G D Puri, said that fortunately no case of the Delta plus variant was reported in the samples sent. Ram said that a major sign of relief is the cooling down of the second wave and the total tally of positive patients is low in Chandigarh. But still, there is no room for complacency, he said.

Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, had reported 22 cases on Sunday. So far, the infection has claimed 806 lives with the union territory’s infection count at 61,430, according to a Sunday medical bulletin.

The city currently has 353 active cases. Seventy patients were discharged after they recovered from the infection, taking the number of cured people to 60,271, the bulletin had said.

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