Aizawl: 115 more cases of highly-transmissible Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of COVID-19 have been detected in Mizoram from COVID-19 positive patients who are now recovered from the infection, a senior official of the state health department said on Friday.

With the fresh cases, the state has so far reported 192 Delta variant cases, the official said.

Besides, one case each of Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Eta (B.1.525) was reported in July, he said.

State nodal officer and official spokesperson on COVID-19, Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma said that at least 151 samples of COVID-19 patients were sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in West Bengal’s Kalyani for whole-genome sequencing in July. 

Of the 151 samples, 78 per cent (115) came out positive for the Delta variant of COVID-19, which implied that the variant has widely spread in the state especially in the state capital Aizawl, he said.

The whole-genome sequencing results were informed to the state government by authorities of NIBMG on Thursday, he said.

According to Pachuau, the samples were randomly collected from COVID-19 infected people in the Aizawl district in July. 

He claimed that all the patients have recovered from COVID-19.

“It is fortunate that none of the patients infected with Delta variant of COVID-19 has died. All the 115 patients have fully recovered from the infection,” he said.

He said that results from NIBMG used to get delayed because of “rush” as all the eight Northeastern states are depending on the institution for genome sequencing. 

Pachuau, who is also the state nodal officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), said that the presence of new COVID-19 strains has already been verified in Aizawl, Lunglei, Kolasib and Serchhip districts. 

Looking at the high transmission rate and the severity of the condition of infected patients these days, it is believed that the COVID-19 variant has already been present in all parts of the state and efforts are on to ascertain the presence of new COVID-19 strains, he said.

He said that 500 more samples of COVID-19 patients from Aizawl, Lunglei, Champhai and Serchhip districts will be sent to NIBMG for whole-genome sequencing within this month.

According to him, the state has so far sent 537 samples to NIBMG for whole-genome sequencing between March and July, of which 192 came out positive for the Delta variant and one each of the United Kingdom’s Alpha and Eta variants.

The state reported the first four cases of Delta variant in April, another 73 Delta variant cases and one case of Alpha and Eta variants of COVID-19 in July.

Pachuau also urged the people to be very cautious and strictly follow the COVID-19 protocols.

“Although the COVID-19 curve began to show a downward trend, we should not be complacent as this does not mean we have curtailed the spread,” he said.

Mizoram on Friday reported 522 COVID-19 cases, taking the state’s tally to 50,959.

Two more persons died on Friday, which took the death toll to 192, government sources said.

At least 860 people were discharged from various COVID-19 care facilities on Friday (till 5 pm) rising the total recovery to 44,005, the sources said.

Also read | Mizoram logs 522 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths


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