No Delta Plus cases in Telangana, says Director Health

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Increased genome sequencing holds the key to discovery

Delta variant is believed by scientists to be extremely infectious. (Representational Photo: AFP)

Hyderabad: Telangana state, as on Thursday, had no cases of Covid-19 caused by the Delta plus variant of the Coronavirus, health officials have said. The mutated version of the Coronavirus has been dubbed as a ‘variant of concern’ by the Centre. The assurance came even as Madhya Pradesh on Thursday reported what it said was the first death of a Covid-19 patient who was infected by the Delta plus variant.

As of Thursday morning, the Centre reported some 40-odd cases of infection by the Delta plus variant in the country, with many coming from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. This variant is believed by scientists to be extremely infectious, taking very brief period of exposure, as little as a few seconds, to jump from person to person.

Director of Health Services Dr G. Srinivasa Rao, speaking with newspersons, said Telangana state had not found any Delta plus variant cases. He said that the state government was ramping up vaccinations and has included teachers, and anyone over 30 years into the eligible groups of people who can be vaccinated.

The finding of which variant of the Coronavirus is prevalent among those getting infected – on Thursday, the health department said 1,088 fresh Covid-19 cases were discovered in the state –depends on the number of samples the health department sends to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), one of the labs in the country identified for sequencing the genomes.

Meanwhile, some private hospitals in the city have been admitting Covid-19 patients from Nanded district of Maharashtra, with doctors suspecting that some of the patients could be infected by the Delta plus variant. However, private hospitals cannot request genome sequencing and will have to route their requests to the state health department to send samples to the CCMB. Some private hospitals are learnt to have sought permission and sent samples for genome sequencing.

It is not difficult for the Delta plus variant in Maharashtra to enter Telangana state through patients from that state who seek treatment in the city. With Mumbai, Nagpur and Solapur located at a distance far for these patients from the districts near the Telangana state border, these Maharashtra patients prefer to come to Hyderabad for treatment.

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