Delta variant prime suspect in COVID-19 cases across Varanasi: Study

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI): CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi has collaboratively sequenced genomes of coronavirus variants in Varanasi and adjoining areas and have come across at least seven major strains of coronavirus circulating in these regions, including B.1.617 and B.1.617.2 or the 'Delta variant'.

The multidisciplinary research unit headed at BHU collected samples from Varanasi and areas around the city, mostly in April earlier this year and the CCMB team had sequenced 130 samples.

"The most predominant variant we found in our study was B.1.617 among the Variants of Concern (VoC). This variant was also reported to be one of the major drivers of the second COVID-19 wave in India," said Prof Singh, who heads BHU research unit on Friday.

"Just as in most of India, the B.1.617.2 variant (aka Delta variant) was the most common one in the samples we studied. They were found among 36 per cent of the total samples. Other VoCs such as the B.1.351, detected in South Africa for the first time, was also found in this area," said Dr Rakesh Mishra, Advisor, CCMB.

The study confirms yet again that the Delta variant is the most widespread coronavirus variant in the country right now. "But at the same time, it is imperative for us to keep an eye on the other emerging variants in the country to prevent another unprecedented surge of cases," he added. (ANI)

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