COVID-19: Two cases of South African variant found in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases from the last one month.

Meanwhile, two cases of South African COVID-19 variant, B.1.351 have been reported from Hyderabad and two cases of the ‘double mutant’ variant, B.1.617 has been reported from Andhra Pradesh.

In Telangana, both types of samples were collected from Hyderabad. In Andhra Pradesh, each sample was collected from Tirupati and Vijayawada respectively.

The genome was sequenced by the Hyderabad-based Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), which is part of the Indian Stork Co-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). The data is presented with GISAID, a global science initiative that provides open genomic sequence data for COVID-19.

So far,16 sequenced samples confirming South African Variants have been submitted from India with the GISAID — from West Bengal- 8, Maharashtra- 3, Telangana- 2, Kerala- 2 and Karnataka- 1.

162 sequenced samples have been submitted of the ‘double mutation’ variant of COVID-19, of which the majority are from Maharashtra-120 and the remaining are from West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Recently, it was reported that a study conducted by a private diagnostic lab in Hyderabad has reported the presence of another VOC, United Kingdom (UK) variant of B.1.1.7 in the city. 

Dr. Rakesh Mishra, Director, Center for Biological (CCMB) for Cellular and Molecular told The New Indian Express, stressed the need for proper publicity of COVID-19 by the public. 

He also pointed out the need for the government to increase the number of tests for proper implementation of the ‘Test Track Treat’ procedure. 

DR Mishra added that CCMB, in collaboration with other labs under INSOC, would launch a large-scale genomic sequence in a few days.