Updated: June 30, 2021 8:32:07 am
Amid reports of at least 40 cases of the Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 being reported in the country, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has decided to start genome sequencing to ascertain if the strain is present in the city.
On Wednesday, Karnataka Health Minister Sudhakar confirmed that the state had reported the first case from the Delta Plus variant of the virus in Mysuru. The infected person is asymptomatic and none of his contacts has contracted the virus, he said.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said, “Since there are concerns about the spreading of the Delta Plus variant, we will take up genome sequencing of 5 per cent of the samples out of those who test positive,” he said.
Meanwhile, he has also directed the BBMP officials to keep a close watch on wards with a higher positivity rate in the city. “There is an atmosphere of relaxation in Bengaluru city since the positivity rate is below 2 per cent. But people need to be careful and follow all Covid-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks and maintaining social distance. In wards with higher positivity rate, I have directed officials to intensify home visits and contact tracing. There should also be monitoring of those under home isolation and all necessary precautions taken,” he added.
The commissioner also said that the experts advising the government on Covid-19 are researching on the Delta Plus variant. “Once BBMP receives guidelines from the experts, we will follow them to contain the spread of the new variant,” he said.
The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday categorised the Delta Plus strain as a ‘variant of concern’ and directed states to take up immediate containment measures in clusters where the variant has been detected.
Meanwhile, Sudhakar said the state government is carefully monitoring the emergence of new variants and it has decided to set up six genome labs in the state. “Wherever we have a suspicion, we are doing genomic sequencing. We are doing random checks of five per cent of the total samples checked,” Sudhakar added.
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