Coronavirus | Most infections in second wave in Tamil Nadu were due to Delta variant: study

Delta variant was observed in 70% of the samples collected

Most of the infections during the second wave of COVID-19 in the State were due to the Delta variant, a study has shown.

A preliminary report of findings of samples collected from those infected with COVID-19 infection has revealed that the Delta variant (B 1.617.2) is the most common virus circulating in the State. The second most common is the Alpha (1.1.7) variant.

The Directorate of Public Health (DPH), on Sunday, released the details of a study of whole genome sequencing of the virus it had carried out.

According to the DPH, 1,159 samples were collected from district surveillance units and sentinel sites from December 2020 to May 2021, and brought to the State Public Health Laboratory in the city for preliminary screening followed by referral to InSTEM, Bengaluru.

The samples were classified under eight categories, including community clusters; family clusters; reinfection cases; vaccination breakthrough cases; children up to 12 years; young adults with severe lung involvement; deceased without any co-morbidities; and international travellers.

As on date the results of 554 samples had been received and that of 605 samples are awaited, according to Public Health Director T.S. Selvavinayagam. Delta variant was observed in 386 (70%) of the 554 samples and 47 samples (8.5%) had Alpha variant (B.1.1.7).

The delta variant was found predominantly among adolescents (aged over 12 years) and adults, accounting for 81%; and 19% of children also had the variant.

The delta variant was noticed in community clusters (30%) and family clusters (23%). Among the 554 samples 94 were from children aged up to 12 years and among them 73 (76%) had the delta variant. As many as 66 were vaccine breakthrough cases and among them 55 exhibited delta variant, Dr. Selvavinayagam said.

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