The state health department announced on Saturday that five cases of the ‘Kappa’ strain of coronavirus had been discovered in Gujarat for the first time. According to a press announcement, three cases were discovered in Jamnagar, two in Godhra in Pahchmahal district, and one in Mehsana.
In May, the World Health Organization had named the new variant, a ‘double mutant’, as “Kappa”, after a letter of the Greek alphabet. Genome sequencing of samples of these patients, who had tested positive for
COVID-19 between March and June this year, revealed that they were infected by the new variant, the department said. Kappa is a “variant of interest” but not a “variant of concern” as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the release said.
The department also traced those who came in contact with these patients. “So far, none of their contacts have been found to have COVID-19 symptoms. The health department has also undertaken intense surveillance in the areas from where the cases emerged,” it said.
Gujarat has so far reported 8,24,683 COVID-19 cases of which 8,14,265 patients recovered. There are 342 active cases in the state at present.