The Delta variant of coronavirus has been detected for the first time in two states in the north-east – Manipur and Mizoram, sources have said.
After testing 20 samples from Manipur in a laboratory in Hyderabad, 18 were found to be of Delta variant, sources said.
Mizoram reported four cases of the highly infectious variant, also known as B.1.617.2. The Delta variant has been detected in four COVID-19 patients in Aizawl district. Their samples were sent along with others to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal.
In neighbouring Assam, the government has issued guidelines for a special vaccination drive for diabetic, cancer, and chronic illness patients. The state government took the decision due to incidence of mortality and secondary infection like Mucormycosis or Black Fungus becoming common in people with comorbidities.
The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility, World Health Organisation chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said yesterday.
The Delta variant is now being reported in about 80 countries around the world. “The whole situation is so dynamic because of the variants that are now circulating and… the Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility,” Ms Swaminathan said at a press briefing in Geneva yesterday.