As many as 17 cases of the Delta variant AY.4.2 strain, which is quickly spreading in the United Kingdom, have been reported in India during the third Covid wave alarm. These samples were taken in May and September of 2021. For the same time period, India submitted a total of 19,466 sequences to GISAID.
A sub-lineage of the Delta variant of COVID-19, AY.4.2, has been detected in the United Kingdom, China, and Russia, and now it has made its way to India.
Several states including Andhra Pradesh have reported 07 cases of new strain, Kerala 4, Karnataka and Telangana 2 cases each, Jammu & Kashmir and Maharashtra have reported 1 case, respectively taking the total tally to 17.
The Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare Services in Karnataka issued an official memo warning the public against the AY.4.2 strain.
“As the complete nature of the said newly reported variant is yet to be understood, it is crucial to step up vigilance & follow Covid-19 appropriate behavior instead of creating panic among the public,” the note read.
Following the rise in the cases, the Centre decided to step in ahead of the festival season as fears of COVID-19 third wave mounts.
“A team is investigating the new COVID19 variant AY.4.2. ICMR and NCDC teams study and analyze the different variants,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told ANI.
In addition, the Centre has released additional instructions to prevent a third COVID-19 wave.
AY.4.2 has consistently increased in volume, accounting for around 9% of UK cases in the previous 28 days. A few European countries, such as Denmark, Germany, and Ireland, have also reported it.
AY.4.2, one of 45 Delta sub-lineages termed Delta plus by many, is likely to be renamed Nu.
According to British experts, it might be up to 15% more transmissible than the original Delta, and according to the Daily Mail, its incidence in England jumped in a month, from 4% in September to 8.9% in the two weeks leading up to October 9.