Double mutant strain detected in some patients who tested COVID-19 positive at Dibrugarh airport: Sarma

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Guwahati, Apr 22 (PTI) The double mutant strain has been detected in some passengers who tested COVID-19 positive at Assam's Dibrugarh airport, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Thursday.

Recent samples of passengers taken at the airport are 'positive for B.1.617 strain or the Indian double mutant (L452R and E484Q) strain of SARS-COV-2,' he tweeted.

The strain spreads 'very fast and is extremely dangerous. I appeal to people to be very careful as there is no alternative to caution', Sarma told reporters after attending an all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

'In India, the UK and Californian strains have combined to form the double mutant strain and its birthplace is Maharashtra, from where it is spreading to other states,' he said.

There are speculations in certain sections that vaccines might not work in positive cases with these strains, but these are to be verified, Sarma said.

Earlier, the minister had claimed that the UK mutant strain has also been found in Assam.

Meanwhile, the state government issued another SOP, stating that in districts with over 100 active cases, coaching institutes will function with 50 per cent capacity, while pregnant teaching/non-teaching staff and those with children below five years shall be exempted from attending schools and coaching institutes.

Assam has reported 2,29,138 positive cases and 1,150 deaths so far. PTI DG RBT RBT