New Delhi: A new mutation of the Delta variant (AY.4.2) of COVID-19 has been reported in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
“AY4.2 is Delta variant sublineage and may infect 10 times more. Few cases were detected in Indore and Maharashtra. It is classified as a ‘variant under investigation’ and WHO is yet to declare it a ‘variant of concern’. So far, this is negligible in the country. Genomic study underway, impact to be known soon,” Director of Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), CBK Mohanty told the media on Monday.
Seven cases of this new variant were detected in Indore in a genome sequencing report released from the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC). Out of seven, two people infected are Army officers posted in the Mhow Cantonment, Indore chief medical and health officer Dr BS Saitya, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The variant has also been detected in 1 per cent samples in Maharashtra.
Delta AY.4.2 mutation has been classified as ‘Variant Under Investigation’ by the UK Health Security Agency on 20 October due to the high growth rate and has been given the official name VUI-21OCT-01.
This sub-lineage has become increasingly common in the UK in recent months, and there is some early evidence that it may have an increased growth rate in the UK compared to Delta.
“More evidence is needed to know whether this is due to changes in the virus’ behaviour or to epidemiological conditions,” UKHSA said.
UKHSA Chief Executive Dr Jenny Harries advised people to exercise caution, wear a mask in crowded spaces and, and open windows and doors to ventilate the room when meeting people indoors.
If you have symptoms take a PCR test and isolate at home until you receive a negative result, she added.
Russia has also reported the new coronavirus variant believed to be even more contagious than the Delta one. According to the RIA news agency, it is possible that the AY.4.2 variant will spread widely.
President Vladimir Putin has already approved a proposal for a week-long workplace shutdown at the start of November, after Russia recorded 1,028 cases on Wednesday, with 34,073 new infections.
Israel has also confirmed a case of the new subvariant.
“The variant AY 4.2. that has been discovered in a number of countries in Europe has been identified in Israel,” a ministry statement said on Tuesday.