Karnataka reports 5 more suspected Covid cases of AY.4.2 variant

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Karnataka reports 5 more suspected Covid cases of AY.4.2 variant
© Provided by Hindustan Times Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday that a government panel of experts is looking into the Delta coronavirus subvariant, AY.4.2, that is believed to have triggered an increase in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the United Kingdom. (ANI)

A day after two suspected cases of AY.4.2 variant of the novel coronavirus was detected in Karnataka , five more cases of the new variant have been detected taking the total to seven, said state health and family welfare commissioner D Randeep on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters in Bengaluru on Wednesday he said: “There are seven cases (of AY.4.2) in the state — three in Bengaluru and four in different parts of the state.”

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday that a government panel of experts is looking into the Delta coronavirus subvariant, AY.4.2, that is believed to have triggered an increase in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the United Kingdom.

The variant was described by technical experts in UK of having a growth rate of 17% compared to the baseline Delta variant and a secondary household contact attack rate of 12.4%, as opposed to 11.1% for Delta. Out of 23,407 sequences identified in the world, 21,848 are from the UK.

Randeep also said the government is making a negative RT-PCR test report, obtained 72 hours before arrival, mandatory for those coming from abroad to the state. “The test report has to be uploaded on a portal called Air Suvidha. Other than that, there are no restrictions like quarantining people,” Randeep said.

He further said the Centre and the state will initiate certain measures to check the new variant of Covid-19, which has spread in some foreign countries. There are no reports of deaths due to the new variant but one or two people have been hospitalized, he added.

Following the discovery of the variant, Karnataka health minister Dr. K Sudhakar had called a meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Tuesday. Apart from the measures announced by the health commissioner, more measures are expected in the coming days to control the potential spread of the variant.

Talking about the new variant resulting in the third wave, experts said that reconfirming the variant is crucial and reports from the national labs should be awaited. Dr. Manjunath, a member of the TAC said that adequate steps should be taken to control the spread, and most importantly people should not get complacent. “Public meetings, especially political rallies that is happening in the state are a cause of the concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka on Wednesday added 282 fresh cases and 13 deaths, taking the caseload and death toll to 29,86,835 and 38,037, the health department said. The day also saw 349 people being discharged, pushing the total number of recoveries to 29,40,339. Active cases stood at 8,430, according to the department bulletin.

Bengaluru Urban accounted for the maximum number of 142 new cases and six deaths, it said. Other districts too reported fresh cases, including 31 in Kodagu, 28 in Dakshina Kannada, and 18 each in Mysuru and Hassan.

While nine districts reported zero infections, 17 districts had cases in single digits. Three deaths were reported from Dakshina Kannada, two in Mysuru and one each in Hassan and Tumakuru, the bulletin said. Bagalkote, Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Gadag, Haveri, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Vijayapura, and Yadgir reported zero infections and zero Covid-19 related deaths. The positivity rate for the day was 0.24% and the case fatality rate 4.6%.

A total of 1,17,351 samples were tested, including 93,617 today, taking the cumulative number of specimens examined to 5.04 crore. The number of vaccinations done so far in the state rose to 6.44 crore, with 4,90,315 people being inoculated on Wednesday, it said.

(With agency inputs).

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