A National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune study shows that more than 60 percent of Covid cases in Maharashtra have the double mutant variant. The study has been made out of the data recorded from January to March. According to the study, the genome sequenced had the double mutation E484Q and L452R, now classified as B.1.617 lineage.
The government officials mentioned that they have not received a report of it however a verbal communication has been delivered. According to the NIV, in a meeting on April 10, all the district heads of government laboratories were presented with the document. The presentation has been shared but a report has not been submitted yet. Earlier the Central government had said that the mutation has been found in 15-20% of samples and it is not the reason behind the second wave in the state. Reportedly, health minister Rajesh Tope said that the Maharashtra Government has asked for a detailed report of the case from the central government.
As the state is recording more than 50,000 fresh cases on a daily basis, health officials have remarked that the double mutant variant could be a reason behind it. Maharashtra has around 5.6 lakh active Covid-19 cases. Sources informed that state officials added that the state has asked the Centre if this is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed. Health experts in Maharashtra have asked for genome sequencing results as soon as possible.
Maharashtra Health Secretary Dr. Pradeep Vyas was reported saying, "The Centre has maintained that there is no need to change the strategy.”
Some of the doctors are also reported saying that a link behind surging cases and double mutant cases cannot be drawn as the number of samples is very few. The mutant B.1.617 lineage was also found in Delhi. According to the data by NIC, the variant is found in 13 districts of Maharashtra including Akola, Amravati, Bhandara, Hingoli, Gondia, Chandrapur, Nagpur, Pune, Wardha, and Yavatmal.
Maharashtra is facing the scariest situation of Covid-19 in India as maximum numbers of cases are getting recorded here. On Monday the state had reported a drop in fresh cases but on Tuesday it again reported the second-highest single-day spike of infections with 60,212 cases, taking the tally to 3,519,208.