The Bihar Post

Widespread presence of Delta variants in Jharkhand alarms health dept officials

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RANCHI—The dominant presence of Delta variants in India’s Jharkhand state has alarmed the health department officials amid reports that the third wave of the COVID-19 may approach soon.

The widespread presence of Delta variant, considered highly contagious, was detected in course of genome sequencing of samples of COVID-19 patients.

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Health officials had collected a total of 364 samples from five worst-affected districts of Jharkhand in between April 1 and June 9 and sent them for testing to the Institute of Life Sciences at Bhubaneswar.

The health officials were shocked and surprised when they were informed the Delta variants were heavily present in as many as 204 of the total samples. This means 54 percent samples had the presence of Delta strain.

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Kappa variant, another deadly variant, was found in 63 samples while 23 samples had the presence of Alpha variant which was first detected in UK.

The WHO has classified Delta and Alpha as the “variants of concerns”. While Alpha variant spreads more rapidly, the Delta variant transmits rapidly.

“The Delta variant was found to be the most prevalent in our state,” nodal officer for Jharkhand health department Dr Siddharth Tripathi told the media on Tuesday.

No Delta plus variant, however, was found in any of the samples sent for genome sequencing, the official said.

COVID-19 has claimed a total of 5,099 lives in Jharkhand while also infecting more than over 3.44 million people so far.

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