New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delta variant of COVID-19 or the B.1.617, which was first found in India in October 2020, is the primary cause behind the second wave of the deadly virus in India, a study by the Indian SARS COV2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has revealed on Friday. The study was launched to investigate what caused the second surge.

The INSACOG study also highlighted that the B.1.617.2 lineage of the Delta variant (B.1.617) is more transmissible than the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), which was first detected in the United Kingdom. The study said that both B.1.617 variant and its lineage B.1.617.2 is in fact 50 per cent more infectious than the Alpha variant of COVID-19 and were primarily responsible for the surge in cases in India.

However, the scientist, in the INSACOG and NCDC study, asserted that there is no evidence to prove that the Delta variant has caused more deaths or greater severity of cases during the second wave of COVID-19 in the country. 

The study further stated there are more than 12,200 "Variants of Concern" in the country, as revealed by genomic sequencing, but their presence is negligible compared to the Delta variant, which replaced all other variants in the second wave. 

The INSACOG study also mentioned the names of the states which were the worst-hit by the Delta variant in the second wave of the COVID-19. These states includes Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana. Meanhwile, the study also stated that the Delta variant is present in all states.

The study also highlighted a major role of Delta variant in breakthrough infections, also known as COVID infections after vaccinations. However, the study said that there are no breakthrough cases found when it comes to the Alpha variant.

The study was conducted by doing genome sequencing of 29,000 COVID cases in India, out of which, 8,900 samples have bee found with B.1.617 variant, while more than 1,000 samples were tested for other lineages of the Delta variant.

India reported 1,32,364 new coronavirus infections taking the country's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,85,74,350, while the recovery rate crossed 93 per cent. The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 3,40,702 with 2,713 fresh deaths. The active cases have reduced to 16,35,993 comprising 5.73 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 93.08 per cent.

The daily positivity was recorded at 6.38 per cent. It has been less than 10 per cent for 11 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate has declined to 7.27 per cent.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan