VIJAYAWADA: The state government has ruled out the presence of N440K strain of coronavirus and made it clear that only B.1.167 and B.1 strains are found prevalent in the samples collected from south India, based on a finding by CCMB, Hyderabad.
Responding to reports in a section of media that the presence of N440K strain was resulting in the rapid spread of the virus in the state, AP State Covid Command and Control Centre chairman Dr K.S. Jawahar Reddy released a statement here on Thursday stating that CCMB was carrying out genome sequencing for the samples being sent from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka at the rate of 250 samples every month.
He said that N440K strain of virus (B.1.36) was found in June-July of last year from the samples collected from the three states and added that the strain was prevalent in December and this January and February. He said that the strain has dropped drastically in March.
Reddy pointed out that at present B.1.167 and B.1 strains were found to be prevalent from coronavirus positive samples collected in April. He said that they were very infectious and spreading even among youngsters.
Referring to the double mutant strain B.1.617, he said that it was found initially in western states.
Quoting WHO’s Covid-19 weekly epidemiological update of April 25, he stated that WHO mentioned about lineage of B.1.617 as a variant of interest from India but did not mention the N440K variant, which discounts the media reports.
He clarified that research data from reputed scientific bodies did not establish that the N440K strain was a variant of interest and urged people not to panic about it....