The very infectious coronavirus strains B.1.617 and B.1 are currently found in the COVID-19 positives in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana and are spreading rapidly in younger age groups, apart from adults.
The N440K is neither a “variant of interest” nor virulent, according to the state health ministry, citing a study by the Center for Cell and Molecular Biology.
“The main strains identified from the samples from South India (AP, Karnataka, Telangana) based on the positive data of the April month are B.1.617 and B.1, which are very contagious and also spread in the younger age groups from the adults.
It should be noted that the weekly epidemiological update COVID-19 published by the WHO on April 25th mentions the lineage B.1.617 as VOI (Variant of Interest) from India and the variant N440K, “AP Covid Command and Control”, does not The center’s chairman, KS Jawahar Reddy, said in a statement.
Genome sequencing was performed in CCMB, Hyderabad, for the samples collected from AP, Telangana and Karnataka.
On average, around 250 samples from AP’s laboratories are sent to CCMB every month.
The N440K strain of the coronavirus (B.1.36) was detected from June to July 2020. This strain was widespread in December 2020, as well as January and February 2021, and dropped dramatically in March.
Now the proportion of N440K in the positives is very low, “emphasized Jawahar Reddy.
He said that research data so far does not show that N440K is an interesting variant and very virulent.
“If this is such a public health concern, it should have a place in both WHO and ICMR reports by now,” he noted.
The Special Chief Secretary’s statement came amid reports in both the media and social media that the N440K variant of the coronavirus was widespread in Andhra Pradesh, causing deaths in addition to a higher infection rate.
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